What can I say? The recipe title had me hooked. One word – cornbread. As a girl raised in the south, that was one half of a meal. The other half was beans. And I was happy. I love cornbread.
I also love tinkering with recipes. You know, just a tweak here and there until you have perfection. Or, at least a dish that the whole family will eat.
After I got done tweaking this recipe, about the only thing that stayed the same was the title. After all, it was cornbread, I can’t improve on that!
Here’s the starting line up.
First off, make yourself a pan of cornbread. You only need a 8 x 8 pans worth, so a box of the mix is perfect. Or, you can go nutso like me, and make a 9 x 13 pan.
I use this masa cornbread The smell of the dry masa roasting in the oven is enough to send me into a drooling stupor.
This is an easily do-ahead step. It’s a good use for left over cornbread. If there is such a beast. It’s best to start with a cool pan of cornbread so you don’t burn your fingers while cutting it up.
Open your can of black-eye peas and drain them. Set them aside while you make the dressing.
Combine the mayo with the sweet relish and pickle juice. Add enough juice to get a pourable dressing.
Now, bust out the cutting board, you’ve got some chopping to do.
Preheat your oven to 400 º. Cut your cornbread into 1 inch cubes and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes, stirring at the halfway mark to ensure even browning. Remove from oven when times up, or when they are toasty brown.
Now for the cold veggies. Give the romaine a rough chop. Core your tomatoes and chop into 1/2 inch pieces. I just happened to have two black krim tomatoes and one pink lady, fresh from my garden. Yum!
Give your pepper a 1/4 inch dice. Here’s where I wish I’d used a yellow pepper. The contrast in colors would have been pretty. Then, halve your leek and slice into thin half moons. If you don’t have a leek, scallions work just fine.
Gather all your chopped, diced and cubed ingredients, cause it’s assembly time! Get out a large bowl. Start with a layer of cornbread cubes to the bottom. Then, add the lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, leeks and black-eyed peas.
Use approximately 1/2 of your ingredients for each layer. Drizzle on a layer of dressing.
Repeat with remaining ingredients, and dressing, finishing with a few cornbread cubes on top.
Serves 8. Chill 1 hour before serving
- 1 box cornbread mix prepared or whatever gives you an 8 x 8 pan full For the salad:
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, rinsed and chopped
- 3 tomatoes cored and chopped
- 1 bell pepper, your choice of colors, stemmed, seeded and diced
- 1 leek, the white and light green parts only or 3 scallions, sliced
- 1 Can of black-eyed peas 15-ish ounces, drained and rinsed For the dressing:
- 1 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
- 1/4 cup sweet pickle juice
Preheat oven to 400º.
Cut cooled cornbread into 1 inch cubes. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 400º. Turn cubes at the halfway mark to ensure even browning.
Remove from oven when toasty brown and cool completely.
Drain and rinse the black-eyes peas.
Mix the dressing ingredients to make a pourable dressing.
Chop all vegetables.
In a large serving bowl, place a layer of cornbread cubes. Top with half the vegetables and a layer of dressing. Repeat layers, ending with dressing and top with the prettiest cornbread cubes.
Chill one hour before serving.