Southern Panzanella

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

Cornbread Croutons:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

3 cups cubed day-old Skillet Cornbread (1-inch cubes), recipes follows

1 teaspoon kosher salt 

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

Dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

1 teaspoon honey 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

1 clove garlic, grated 

Salad:

1 pound collard greens, julienned

One 15-ounce can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed 

1 cup jarred sliced roasted red peppers, drained 

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 

8 ounces mozzarella pearls, drained

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves 

Skillet Cornbread:

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup all-purpose flour 

1 tablespoon baking powder 

1 teaspoon kosher salt 

1 cup buttermilk 

1/2 cup whole milk 

1 large egg 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening, melted 

Directions

  1. For the cornbread croutons: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Brush a baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Gently arrange the Skillet Cornbread cubes on the buttered baking sheet and drizzle with the remaining melted butter. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Do not toss the cornbread or it will crumble. Bake, gently turning the cubes with tongs halfway through, until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Allow the cornbread croutons to cool completely.
  3. For the dressing: Add the olive oil, vinegar, pepper, honey, salt and garlic to a mason jar and shake.
  4. For the salad: In a large bowl, combine the collards, black-eyed peas, red peppers, tomatoes, toasted cornbread croutons and dressing and toss gently. Add the mozzarella pearls to the bowl (setting aside a handful for garnishing) and toss them in with the rest of the salad.
  5. Arrange the salad on a platter. Using tongs, bring some of the croutons to the top of the salad to garnish. Arrange the remaining mozzarella pearls around the salad and garnish with the basil leaves.

Skillet Cornbread:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl until combined.
  3. Stir together the buttermilk, whole milk and egg in a bowl or measuring cup with a fork. Add the baking soda and stir again, making sure it is evenly dissolved. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork until combined. Slowly add 1/4 cup of the melted shortening to the batter, stirring until just combined.
  4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons shortening over medium heat in a cast-iron skillet. Pour the batter into the hot skillet--it should sizzle. Spread with a spatula to even out the surface. Cook on stovetop for 1 minute. Transfer to the oven and bake until the top is golden brown and the edges are crispy, 20 to 25 minutes.