Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tomato Cornbread Salad

Ahhhh, the summer tomato.

Slice and eat with some salt and pepper. Sublime. Or make the finest BLT.  Or a tomato pie.

Or this Tomato Cornbread Salad.  Folks, it's divine.

Every summer, I make this and experiment with ingredients and amounts.  You do the same! If you don't like peppers, but love radishes, use them!  If you dislike basil but love parsley, make the substitution.  It's a salad - it doesn't have to be exact.

Tomato Cornbread Salad

1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 package (8.5 ounces) Jiffy corn muffin mix
3 ears corn, shucked
8 ounces fresh green beans (any kind)
1-1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 or 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped (I used both for color)
3 or 4 scallions, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
3 or 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Whisk the dressing ingredients together and let stand or store in refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

Prepare corn muffin mix in 8" square baking dish according to package directions.  Cool completely.  (You  can do like me and bake it the night before to serve with dinner, but only if a small amount of it will be eaten.  I like to go "heavy on the veggies" anyway with this salad, so if you don't have as much cornbread, it's OK.)

Cut cooled cornbread into 1" cubes and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Put in a 400 degree oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until lightly toasted.  Cool.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add corn and cook 5 minutes.  Add beans and cook 3 minutes longer or until crisp-tender.  Using tongs, remove corn and rinse under cold running water.  Drain beans and rinse under cold water.  Cut corn off cob.

In big bowl, combine all except for the cornbread.  Add cornbread and toss gently.  Serve immediately or chill.  Even better the second day!  And aren't the colors so pretty?

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