Fried Cornbread Crouton Panzanella with Tomatoes and Summer Squash


For this class - PLEASE either pre-measure all ingredients for Cornbread Croutons, or feel free to bake them off ahead of class.  Thank you! - Chef Ben

 Serves: 4

Ingredients for Tomatoes & Squash:

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup sliced cherry, grape and/or pear tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium yellow summer squash, quartered and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 shallot, sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • kernels from 1 ear of corn
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 small garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch chili flakes
  • salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of baby gem lettuce leaves

    Procedure for Tomatoes & Squash:

    1. Whisk vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
    2. Add tomatoes, squash, shallot, and corn; stir well to combine.
    3. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, before serving.
    4. Serve garnished with dill and basil.
    5. Place a medium pan over medium high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil.
    6. Add green beans to the pan with garlic, chili flakes, salt and pepper and give a quick sauté.  Remove from pan, combine with tomato and squash mixture, set aside.  Save the pan for our bread.
    7. To build you salad, arrange the baby gems on a platter, top with tomatoes and squash mixture, then top with croutons (recipe below).  

    Ingredients for Cornbread Croutons:

    • 3/4 cups (103g) all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup (78g) cornmeal
    • 2 tablespoons (25g) sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
    • 3/4 cups (142g) lukewarm milk
    • 2 tablespoons (29g) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
    • 1/8 cup (25g) vegetable oil
    • 1 large egg (note: if doubling this recipe, do not double the egg, stay with 1)
    • vegetable or canola oil, enough to fill pan half way

    Procedure for Cornbread Croutons:

    1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 6 muffin cups.
    2. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
    3. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, vegetable oil, and egg.
    4. Pour the liquid all at once into the flour mixture, stirring quickly and gently until just combined. Don't over mix: stir the batter just enough to bring it together and evenly moisten the ingredients.
    5. Scoop into the muffin tin.
    6. Bake the bread for about 10 -12 minutes, until the edges just begin to pull away from the cups and a cake tester or paring knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
    7. Next, wipe out skillet we used to sauté green beans. Fill about half way with a high heat oil (like vegetable or canola) and heat to 350⁰F.
    8. Break cornbread into small crouton size pieces, about 1/2 inch all around. Add to hot oil and fry until golden brown and crispy.
    9. Using a slotted spoon remove from the oil to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Serve on top of salad!


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