Friday, July 27, 2012

BLT Cornbread Salad

Once, when it was my turn to bring salad to our supper club, I asked the host for his favorite ingredients. His reply? "Anything but lettuce!"

That comment hit home as I was not a big fan of lettuce myself and it made me realize I did like all the other things you could put in a bowl and splash with dressing.

Whether you like salad or not, I'm betting most of you can't resist a pan of warm cornbread right out of the oven. Hopefully, you have a pleasant memory associated with it, like your Grandma or a favorite restaurant that brings biscuits or cornbread to the table for starters.

Recently, I came across a dish that was not familiar but I felt should have been - cornbread salad. Now, I've seen people do pretty much everything with cornbread: soak it in a glass of buttermilk, dowse it with honey, crumble over a bowl of soup beans, even make a barbecue sandwich! But never in salad. Since I had made a loaf of Moonshine bread, which is a yeast-risen, flour and cornmeal mixture, with a kick of Virginia White Lightning in the dough, I thought it was a good time to try this recipe.

Essentially, cornbread is cubed and baked into sweet/savory croutons. Fifteen to 20 minutes at 425 with a hit of Broil at the end and mine were golden and crunchy.

While it may have fallen out of favor with the availability of so many artisan lettuces on the market, iceberg is my green of choice since it holds up under the pressure of heavier ingredients like these:

Since it's July and my local market is loaded with regional tomatoes and onions of all colors and sizes, they went in next, followed by crispy bacon bits that I cut with scissors and fry that way so I don't have to get my hands greasy, breaking it up later. Because this salad looks so traditionally American to me, that meant orange-y good cheddar cheese, as well. This version got topped with a homemade honey-mustard dressing that satisfied my love for the sweet and tangy.

Honey Mustard Dressing:
Whip together,
1/4 C mayonnaise
1 T yellow mustard
1 T honey
1/2 T lemon juice

For the salad,
1 head of very fresh iceberg lettuce, cut or torn into bite-size pieces
1 medium red or yellow tomato plus a handful of any variety cherry, grape or pear tomato
2 slices of cornbread of choice, cubed and baked at 425 for 20 minutes, tossing midway
3 slices of bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
1 small red onion, sliced
Optional: 2 boiled eggs, cooled and sliced

This recipe fed 3 of us for supper! I hope you find a salad recipe you love, lettuce or no lettuce, and try making your own dressing, if you don't already.

1 comment:

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