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Panzanella Salad with Cornbread Croutons

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia Degaris Pursell
Total time 1 hr, 30 mins
Yield Makes 6 to 8 servings
The Twist: Think cornbread salad with an Italian accent. A light, lemony vinaigrette replaces the traditional sour cream-and-mayo dressing.

Ingredients

  • Skillet Cornbread, cooled completely
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pt. grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 English cucumber, quartered and sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Cut cornbread into 1-inch cubes. Bake in a single layer on a lightly greased jelly-roll pan 15 minutes or until edges are golden, stirring halfway through.

  2. Meanwhile, sauté bell pepper and onion in 1 Tbsp. hot olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until crisp-tender.

  3. Whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, remaining 7 Tbsp. olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl; stir in onion mixture, tomatoes, and next 3 ingredients. Add toasted cornbread cubes, and toss to coat. Serve immediately.