Winter's hearty stews and casseroles left me with a desire to lighten the menu...but not too much. With more spring-like weather on the way, I need a transitional dish, something that straddles the seasons. Nothing is more perfect than an old fashioned cornbread salad.
Old Fashioned Cornbread Salad
This isn't an exact recipe, just a procedure.
What You Need:
1 cup cornbread croutons*
1/4 to 1/2 2 cup pan-fried pancetta, drained (or substitute crumbled bacon)
1 dozen cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 avocado, peeled and cubed (squeeze fresh lemon juice over cubes)
1/4 cup finely chopped Videlia onion
1 bag romaine leaves, torn
1/2 cup mayonnaise dressing**
Assemble the salad. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with mayonnaise dressing.
*Make the Cornbread Croutons
Preheat the oven 325 degrees F. Cube leftover cornbread. You can make a fresh batch, but it might be a tad soft (let it cool completely). If desired, toss cubes gently in a few tablespoons of your favorite oil (I skip this step). Season cubes with salt, pepper, garlic powder. Place cubes on a baking pan and cook 15-20 minutes or until brown. Turn the croutons halfway through the process. 1 pan of cornbread will make 2 3/4 cup croutons, depending on their size.
**Make the Mayonnaise Dressing
Mix mayonnaise (I use 1/2 cup Dukes light) with a little (1 capful) champagne vinegar. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper, and honey to taste. Whisk. Bottled dressing can be substituted.
This salad is easy to prepare and lends itself to variations. If time is short, use packaged bacon bits and bakery cornbread (if it's not too sweet).
On a warm mid-winter evening, serve the salad with a large glass of sweet tea and a huge slice of lemon pie.