Southwestern Panzanella

 

Oh, spring. You're basically summer with a lot more rain and lightning. And you're basically when we begin having cookouts and outdoor parties. And you're basically when I begin eating summery foods. And you're basically when my winter blues lift and I'm the happiest person on the planet. Can I get a hell yeah?!

Warm weather foods are my all time favorite. Comfort foods are cool and all, but they make me feel like a cow. And there's just nothing that compares to a crisp, fresh salad.

 

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This was a hit. It's vegetarian, so all of your veg head friends will be glad. And it's freaking delicious enough to please anyone, ever. To be honest, I almost added ground chorizo to this baby, but I took it to a party themed with chicken wings. And I know how sucky it is to not have options. But, by all means, add chorizo. It may have sent me over the edge, orgasmically, had I added the meat. So, do. It. 

You will need:

For the salad:

1 packet of mexican corn bread mix (jiffy)

1 egg

2/3 cup of milk of your choice

About 10-15 cherry tomatoes

1/2 red onion, chopped in small pieces

2 avocados, diced

1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 pack of frozen sweet corn

1 small baby can of diced jalapeños 

1 bunch of cilantro

1 block of queso cheese, crumbled

For the dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

Juice of 1 lime 

1 teaspoon of minced garlic

1/2 tablespoon of honey

1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro

Dash of salt and pepper

Step one:

Combine corn bread mix, egg and milk in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Baked in pre-heated oven at 425 degrees for 18-22 minutes. When finished, set aside to cool.

Keep oven on. Spread out corn on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil, coconut oil or butter baking spray. Bake until soft. Turn broiler on high for about 5 minutes to really roast the corn. Keep an eye on the babies.

Step two:

Cut grape tomatoes in half, add to large salad bowl. Cut half of a red onion into small pieces. Cry your eyes out and soak face in cool water. Then add onions to bowl. Rinse and drain black beans. Add to bowl. Drain diced jalapeños really well, then add to bowl. 

At this point, use a blender, mixer or food processor to combine dressing ingredients until nice and smooth. Set aside.

Rough chop a bunch of cilantro for the salad. This is a preference thing. But I loooooove cilantro. So I loaded it up. Add to salad bowl.

Use your hands or a cheese grater to grate down the white queso cheese. At our grocer's, they come in a circular wheel. I crumbled that entire biatch. We love cheese. It made about a small cereal bowls worth. Add half of that to salad mixture.

Take that roasted corn and add that to the bowl. 

At this point, I poured the dressing on all of the veggies and such. Give it a big stir. 

Now, cut up your cooled corn bread into tiny squares and dice your avocados. Add them both to the bowl and give it another big stir. 

 

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Add the rest of the cheese. Garnish with lime and MORE CILANTROOOOO.

Serve! It's easy! It's delicious! It's light! It's everyone's favorite! It's a salad! It's super!

 

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I realize now that I wrote step 1 and step 2 and then didn't even remotely break it down nicely or keep up with the steps. I have a sunburn. I'm not in my right mind. 

This salad, though.

 

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Take a bowl of this deliciousness outside with a beer with lime. Soak up the sun. Give thanks for the tastiness. I love you, too.  

enjoy!

xo