We put a Southern twist on panzanella, the rustic Italian salad of toasted bread and juicy tomatoes. We swapped out the traditional bread for cubes of cornbread and replaced the tomatoes with another readily available summer ingredient: squash. You can use zucchini, summer squash, or a combination of the two. All types of squash work well in this dish, the key is to not overcook them. After about five minutes, they should be crisp-tender, not mushy. You are looking for a nice crunch in this salad.
Torn fresh mozzarella adds richness to the dish and complements the warm squash. And our light and tangy Honey Vinaigrette brings all of the ingredients together. Torn fresh basil is a nice finishing touch for this salad if you have it on hand. This simple panzanella is endlessly versatile—you can swap out the squash for the more traditional tomatoes, or cubes of roasted eggplant. You can also add a handful of mixed baby greens. The recipe calls for store-bought cornbread, but you can certainly make your favorite cornbread recipe. If you’re buying the cornbread, we recommend choosing one that is more savory than sweet, if possible. Overly sweet cornbread will overpower the other ingredients. Once you toss all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, serve the Cornbread Panzanella with Squash right away, so the cornbread doesn’t get soggy. This hearty side dish would pair well with grilled shrimp, fried fish, or even barbecue chicken—perfect for all your summer cookouts.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups yellow squash, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 medium squash)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
15 ounces store-bought cornbread, cubed and toasted (do not use sweet cornbread)