This panzanella salad is my way of telling Fall to back the f*** up.
It’s one thing to be bombarded with back-to-school stuff and pumpkin flavored baked goods. But I almost lost my cool when I spotted Halloween candy at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago.
Um. Just no. Let’s all get ahold of ourselves and remember that it’s not even September yet. I’m still rocking a bathing suit on a daily basis. And from what I can tell, there is no room for Halloween candy on this Summer body. So that shit is going to have to stay on the shelf until sweater weather has arrived.
Instead, I bring you this Tomato, Melon and Cornbread Panzanella Salad. Which highlights gorgeous late Summer heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, mixed greens and sun-ripened honeydew melon. It’s savory, sweet and most importantly, in season.
I’m a big fan of panzanella salads and I’ve got a couple recipes here on the blog. Earlier this year I discovered that by using different types of bread, I could easily change up the flavor profile and bring new life to my panzanella salad recipes. So when I spotted a recipe from Food52 that incorporates cornbread instead of traditional French or Italian bread that is more typically used, I knew I had to make a similar version at home. I decided to add in some honeydew melon (you could also use cantaloupe) for sweetness and chopped bacon for that perfect salty contrast. And I added in a few extra greens to help bulk things up a bit, making this dish more than worthy of a main meal.
It’s best to use cornbread that’s a day or two old for this recipe. You can bake up your favorite homemade version. Or buy a loaf from the grocery store. It’s all good.
I found I didn’t need any extra dressing for this salad. The juices from the tomatoes and the honeydew melon was enough of a coating for my tastes. But feel free to add a splash of either apple cider or balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, if that suits your fancy.