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Author Notes: Like many of the things I eat during the summer, this recipe came about because I was facing down the ends of my CSA box and couldn't stand any more soups, succotash or cowboy caviar. Since I've always been a fan of salads that are actually bread (my sister's words), I went for a sweet and savory twist on panzanella.
I like using my homemade beer bread, which lends a nice sweetness to the dish. I've included my recipe below (and you can find it here: http://whateverpieces.com/2014/03/01/beer-bread-grilled-cheese/) but feel free to use any bread you enjoy. —Stephanie H.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup bleu cheese crumbles
- 1 14.5- ounces can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 2 ears of corn, kernels cut off
- 2 slices beer bread, cut into pieces
- cooking spray or oil
- Italian seasoning
- Add the oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, a pinch of Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste to a jar and shake until emulsified.
- Combine the dressing with the cheese, beans and tomatoes in a large bowl.
- Heat an empty cast iron or carbon steel pan over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add the corn and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook and stir until it's a little brown in places and kind of smells like popcorn. Add to the bean mixture.
- Return the skillet to the stove over medium-high heat and spray with oil (or just pour a little bit in). When it's hot, add the beer bread and season with salt and pepper. Cook until toasty and a little crunchy on the outside, adjusting the heat so it doesn't burn. I like to leave them a a bit soft on the inside. Turn off the heat and toss with some Italian seasoning. Let cool.
- Store the croutons separately until ready to eat. Toss with the salad and serve.
Beer Bread (or use your favorite)
- 12 ounces any beer
- 1.5 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (use up to 1/3 cup if beer is very bitter)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a loaf pan with a bit of butter.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. When the oven is hot and you’re ready to bake the bread, pour the beer over the dry ingredients. It will foam up like a science experiment, and then subside. Stir until the ingredients are just combined.
- Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out the top. Bake it for about 50 minutes.
- Melt about a tablespoon of butter and brush the top of the loaf with it. Bake for another 10 minutes.
- Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so, then pop it out and cool completely. It's best to make the bread at least a day in advance before using it for croutons.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Fresh Tomato Showstopper