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White Cheddar Cornbread and Bacon Panzanella Recipe

Transforming the classic Italian bread salad into a Tex-Mex dream creating a white cheddar cornbread, charred chile, tomato, red onion, & bacon panzanella.

Transforming the classic Italian bread salad into a Tex-Mex dream creating a white cheddar cornbread, charred chile, tomato, red onion, & bacon panzanella.

Scale

Ingredients

For the Cornbread:

For the Salad:

For the Dressing:

Instructions

To make the Cornbread:

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Pour oil into a 10-inch cast iron skillet and place in the oven to heat as the oven is heating up.
  2. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. Combine buttermilk and egg in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined with a rubber spatula. Add cheddar and fold until combined.
  4. Carefully remove skillet from oven and pour hot oil into batter. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Scrape batter back into skillet and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from the skillet and let cool completely on a wire rack. Cornbread can be made up to a day in advance.

To make the Salad:

  1. Heat the broiler to high. Lay the peppers on a baking sheet and place under the broiler until the skin is charred on all sides, about 1-2 minutes. Let cool, then remove the skin, seeds, and stems. Chop into large pieces and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F.
  2. Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until browned and crisp. Remove pan from the heat and place bacon on a paper towel-lined plate; save the bacon grease in the pan.
  3. Cut cornbread into 1-inch cubes and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast cornbread in the oven for 10 minutes.
  4. Combine charred peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, onion, and cornbread in a large bowl.

To make the Dressing:

  1. Heat the pan with the bacon grease over medium heat. Add garlic, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Crumble bacon over salad and top with herbs. Serve immediately.