Cast Iron

Heirloom Tomato and Sweet Corn Panzanella with Beer Bread Croutons

August 19, 2016
3 Ratings
Photo by Stephanie H.
  • Serves 2
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: but feel free to use any bread you enjoy. —Stephanie H.

What You'll Need
  • Panzanella
  • 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
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • 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
  1. Panzanella
  2. Add the oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, a pinch of Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste to a jar and shake until emulsified.
  3. Combine the dressing with the cheese, beans and tomatoes in a large bowl.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Store the croutons separately until ready to eat. Toss with the salad and serve.
  1. Beer Bread (or use your favorite)
  2. Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a loaf pan with a bit of butter.
  3. 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.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out the top. Bake it for about 50 minutes.
  5. Melt about a tablespoon of butter and brush the top of the loaf with it. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  6. 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.

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