Leftover Cornbread Makes a Great Bread Salad.
I had a big slab of leftover cornbread and was in the mood for panzanella, so why not? I knew I needed to treat the cornbread differently than I normally treat the bread in my classic panzanella because it is so crumbly. I cut it into cubes and baked it at a higher temperature than normal in order to get it as dried out as possible and I wanted it toasted. These cubes of cornbread were going to be treated more as croutons, rather than letting them sit in the vinaigrette for awhile.
I also had 3 ears of corn, so I cooked them on a grill pan, cut the kernels off the cob and added them to my tomatoes. Ever since first making Kenji Lopez’s classic panzanella recipe years ago, and realizing it’s my favorite version, I’ve more or less stuck to the same technique, which is to place the sliced tomatoes into a colander set over a large bowl, toss them with a healthy amount of salt and let them drain into the bowl while putting together the rest of the ingredients.
The drained tomato juice in the bowl is then mixed with other ingredients for the vinaigrette. I like a lot of minced shallots in mine, along with a little garlic, Dijon mustard and plenty of olive oil. This time around I also added a minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce.
Sliced red onion, a Fresno chile, parsley, and crumbled queso fresco finished up the salad. I let this sit for 10 minutes or so and then at the last minute, I gently tossed in the toasted cornbread.
It was as good as I’d hoped. It’s really a great way to enjoy the last of the fresh corn and tomatoes of the season, not to mention being perfect for using up leftover cornbread. Panzanella never disappoints me and this one was no exception.