Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cornbread and Black Bean Panzanella

Well hello again. I hope everyone is enjoying the warm, sun-filled summer days. I am sharing a recipe we found last summer on Eats Well With Others. This the perfect summer late lunch or dinner. I think it is even better when enjoyed outdoors in the evening. It does require you to use your oven to bake some cornbread, but I think the results are worth it. Just remember to plan ahead and make the bread in the morning or the night before. I made some minor changes in Joanne's recipe to cut down on some heat from jalapenos. Finally blogging about this recipe has inspired me to make it again tonight! You could make a lot of variations of panzanella with summer produce. I love the mixing of cornbread with avocado and black beans in this dish. We've only enjoyed this as a main dish, but I'm sure it would work as a great side too.

The first step is to make your cornbread. 
(You can omit the jalapeno if you prefer, but there isn't really heat with one in there!)
You will need:
*1 cup buttermilk or milk
*1/4 cup vegetable oil
*2 eggs
*1 cup cornmeal
*1 cup all-purpose flour
*2 tablespoons sugar
*2 teaspoons baking powder
*1/4 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 jalapenos, seeded and diced

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Grease, or parchment line, a 9-inch loaf pan.

2. Whisk the milk, oil, and eggs in a large bowl. Next, whisk the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Spoon the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and stir until combined. Be careful not to overstir. Fold in the jalapenos. Pour mixture into the prepared pan.

3. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. Check that the bread is done by sticking a toothpick in the
center. It should come out clean. If not, cook a little longer, checking every 5 minutes or so. Let cool completely.

Now to assemble the panzanella.
You will need:
*the previously baked cornbread from above (or another cornbread)
*10 oz baby spinach
*1/2 15oz can black beans
*12oz corn (if frozen, thaw and drain)
*1 medium jalapeno, seeded and diced
*1 small red onion, diced
*1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
*4 limes, juiced, divided
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1 avocado, cubed
*1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*1 tablespoon rice vinegar
*1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
*2 teaspoons honey

1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet and spread cornbread cubes. Toast in the oven for about 12 minutes, tossing half way through the cooking time. Remove from oven to cool slightly while you assemble the rest of the meal.

2. In a large bowl, mix the spinach, black beans, corn, jalapenos, red onion, cilantro, half of the lime juice, salt and pepper.  Let stand for 10 minutes.

3. Add the avocado and grape tomatoes to the bowl. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

4. Whisk the olive oil, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, honey, and remaining lime juice in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Stir in the cornbread cubes right before serving.