Jun 4
2010

Wild Mushroom & Cornbread Panzanella Salad Recipe

Wild Mushroom & Cornbread Panzanella Salad Recipe

Over the past several years, I have managed to get myself black-listed from several parties. This is not because I dance on the tables, consume all of the top-shelf tequila, or hog the karaoke microphone (okay, maybe I have sung Total Eclipse of the Heart one too many times). Rather, it is because I am annoyingly preachy about recycling. If someone even edges towards the garbage can with an empty soda can, I immediately direct them towards the recycling receptacle with a gentle lecture on the benefits of proper trash distribution. Yes, I am one of those people. Maybe I should just stick to the karaoke.

While visiting my parents in Victoria, Canada last week, we took a short drive up Vancouver Island to the Cowichan Valley, which is home to a whole host of wineries, organic farms, and environmentally-minded people. In fact, I think owning a copy of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth is a pre-requisite to buying a house there. Perhaps I could get into one of their parties without a bribe. Besides visiting the charming and prolific farm, Organic Fair, run by a fellow food blogger (I will tell you about her farm in a future post), we also stopped at the farmer’s market held in the town of Duncan each Saturday morning. Duncan, a quaint and vibrant town, is known as the City of Totems for the 80 totem poles, carved by the First Nations people, that grace the town.


(This totem actually stands in Victoria, but you get the picture.)

While at the farmer’s market, we happened upon a stand that made me drool with anticipation. Untamed Feast is a company run by Eric and Michelle Whitehead.


With sheer determination, dedication to their product, and a whole lot of hard work, they forage for wild mushrooms in the forests of British Columbia and beyond. From their site: “The mushrooms are harvested from the wild, hand sliced and dried the same day, on site, in a mobile mushroom dryer.” The mushrooms are then packaged and sold in delis and stores in Victoria and Vancouver, and by mail order. After tasting these earthy and ethereal (yes, heaven and earth met in one little package) specimens in this classic Tuscan bread salad, I was sorry that I did not purchase more. Yet another excuse to travel to the Pacific Northwest.

Cornbread:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.


In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk, 2 large eggs, 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted, melted, and cool butter, 1/2 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage.


Pour the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.

Coat a 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and pour the batter into the pan. Using a spatula to spread the top evenly.


Tap the pan sharply on the counter and put in the oven. Bake until the cornbread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Place on a rack and cool in the pan.

Turn the oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice half of the cornbread into 3/4-inch slices and each slice into 3/4-inch pieces. Reserve the rest of the cornbread for another use (such as eating).


Place the cornbread cubes on a baking sheet and place in the oven until the edges are starting to brown, 10 to 15 minutes.


Mushrooms:
Place 3/4 oz. dried wild mushrooms in a medium bowl and cover with 3 cups warm water. Soak for at least 3 hours or overnight to reconstitute. Strain the mushrooms and reserve the soaking water for another use (great for risotto).



Slice 8 medium cremini mushrooms. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the cremini and wild mushrooms, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage. Saute until the mushrooms are cooked and just starting to turn brown. Stir in 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.


The salad:
Tear one small head red leaf lettuce into a large bowl. Add the cornbread cubes and mushrooms. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and gently toss. Serve immediately.


Other panzanella salad recipes:

101 Cookbooks’ Spring Panzanella
No Recipes’ Crispy Halibut with Wasabi Panzanella & Earl Grey Potatoes
Savour Fare’s Panzanella Bread Salad with Roasted Peppers & Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Vicarious Foodie’s Brunch Panzanella
Week of Menus’ Greek Panzanella Salad

Wild Mushroom Cornbread Panzanella Salad
Cornbread adapted from Gourmet Magazine

Cornbread:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp finely chopped fresh sage

Mushrooms:
3/4 oz. dried wild mushrooms
3 cups warm water
8 medium-sized cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 small head red-leaf lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Cornbread:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, Parmesan cheese, and sage. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.

Coat a 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and pour the batter into the pan. Using a spatula to spread the top evenly. Tap the pan sharply on the counter and put in the oven. Bake until the cornbread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Place on a rack and cool in the pan.

Turn the oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice half of the cornbread into 3/4-inch slices and each slice into 3/4-inch pieces. Reserve the rest of the cornbread for another use (such as eating). Place the cornbread cubes on a baking sheet and place in the oven until the edges are starting to brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

The mushrooms:
Place wild mushrooms in a medium bowl and cover with 3 cups warm water. Soak for at least 3 hours or overnight to reconstitute. Strain the mushrooms and reserve the soaking water for another use (great for risotto).

In a medium nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the cremini and wild mushrooms, and sage. Saute until the mushrooms are cooked and just starting to turn brown. Stir in 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

The salad:
Put lettuce pieces in a large bowl. Add the cornbread cubes and mushrooms. In a small bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and gently toss. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.

Printable recipe


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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gera @ SweetsFoodsBlog June 4, 2010 at 5:00 am

So wonderful and colorful salad! To go green is a good measure to follow, really for everybody!

The salad pictures are spectacular :)

All the best,

Gera

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2 pegasuslegend June 4, 2010 at 11:36 am

looks delicious I love that cornbread ….all looks so good!~

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3 Chef E June 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm

This made me smile- I am not sure I am blacklisted, but I am the same way. I preach about eating locavore, and I am sure they get sick of hearing me :)

We went to Victoria and saw the totems, I have a photo of hubby next to one- he is cheesy like that!

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4 maggy@threemanycooks June 4, 2010 at 12:36 pm

First of all – you'd be welcome at my dinner party any time! Second of all, great recipe – love those mushrooms – wish I could get my hands on some of those. They sound amazing and look fantastic in that salad.

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5 Jenny June 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Wow, this salad really looks to die for!

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6 Maria June 4, 2010 at 1:30 pm

I love that you used cornbread in this salad.

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7 Kalyn June 4, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Love the totem pole photo!

This salad has just got to taste amazing with these ingredients!

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8 lululu June 4, 2010 at 2:01 pm

You've just reminded me of how long I have not make panzanella salad for!
Yours looks awesome. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of using wild mushroom.

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9 Michelle June 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm

OMG…this salad sound incredible! Gorgeous photos!

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10 GreenGirl June 4, 2010 at 2:27 pm

the salad looks yummy, i love cornbread croutons, i have to try your recipe soon, thank for sharing

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11 tspegar June 4, 2010 at 3:04 pm

this looks fantastic! you had me at wild mushroom… yum. i love the flavors!

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12 Julia June 4, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I recently started liking mushrooms, oh, last week sometime. So this looks SUPER GOOD. And, good thing you are on others about recycling, it's important!

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13 Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul June 4, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Great recipe…esp with the corn bread.

Carmen

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14 Cristie June 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Beautiful salad! My kids are so GREEN and I'm trying to become greener everyday. I'll have to give this salad a try it sounds wonderful.

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15 jen cheung June 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm

hellllllllllo there! found you on foodbuzz! :) your page is lovely! feel free to drop by my page when you have the time! thanks a bunch.

jen @ http://www.passion4food.ca

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16 Kimberly June 4, 2010 at 5:55 pm

This has gone to the top of the list – it looks gorgeous! YUM!

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17 Steve June 4, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Love the cornbread!

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18 Ms Bibi June 4, 2010 at 6:51 pm

It looks so cook.I love making salads this time of the year.

Wild mushrooms are the best. I put them anywhere I can when I cook.

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19 Tracy June 4, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Yum, how summery! Love the cornbread!

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20 Cookie Sleuth June 4, 2010 at 8:14 pm

This looks so delicious! Also, I like how you have been providing links to other recipes similar to what you are posting. Very helpful!

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21 ivoryhut June 5, 2010 at 12:07 am

What a beautiful salad. I'm a big mushroom fan. And don't worry, we recycle AND we have a copy of An Inconvenient Truth. :) I do have to confess, though, that my husband may try to grab that karaoke mic while you're not looking.

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22 islandvittles.com June 5, 2010 at 3:37 am

What a gorgeous looking salad! It sounds as though you had a good time while you were here. Sorry the weather wasn't better!

I bought some morels from Untamed Feast at a food festival, then lost them at the ferry terminal, then had them returned by a friend…

A lot of hassle for mushrooms, but they were worth it!

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23 Cristina June 5, 2010 at 6:12 am

The cornbread would be like dessert in a salad…fantastic! What a great idea and beautifully put together salad.

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24 Angie's Recipes June 5, 2010 at 9:33 am

A very colourful and pleasant salad! Love the cornbread in the salad too.

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25 Elizabeth June 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Oh my that looks good Dara! I love love love Untamed Feasts products…this looks like something easy to whip up too! Just what I need!

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26 A SPICY PERSPECTIVE June 5, 2010 at 6:59 pm

I LOVE panzanellas. Anytime you can add carbs into the veggie dish is a happy moment for me! The mushrooms look amazing!

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27 jacobskitchen June 5, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Wow. You photos are A-may-Zing. And your food always looks SO delicious. You set the bar high for all of us. Thanks for sharing!

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28 Cookin' Canuck June 5, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Thank you for all of your kind comments. These mushrooms really "made" it.

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29 tryityoumightlikeit June 5, 2010 at 11:36 pm

I am the same way about recycling. Beautiful photos.

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30 Claudia June 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm

The mushroooms really drew me in. It is definintely a colorful, inviting salad perfect for the summer.

Why wouldn't you recycle? How much land is left for landfills. And let's stop with the petroleum plastic…. okay enough said.

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31 Trix June 6, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I love panzanella with cornbread, it's so addictive. Yours looks great.

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32 Kerstin June 6, 2010 at 4:14 pm

What a unique panzanella – love it! I'm passionate about recycling too.

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33 Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker June 7, 2010 at 1:10 am

I love this panzanella!! Cornbread and mushrooms sound awesome!

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34 zenchef June 7, 2010 at 3:37 am

Oh my gosh, that looks so delicious!
That's like the perfect dinner on a warm day. I wish it could materialize in front of me right now. :)

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35 Fuji Mama June 7, 2010 at 4:51 pm

OH MY GOODNESS–this looks SO good! I am going to have to try this.

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36 Suzanne aka vivisue June 12, 2010 at 2:58 am

I don't know how I missed this and the latest drink! I've re-subscribed so hopefully that won't happen again! This salad looks amazing and the photo makes me think I can smell and taste it! I MUST make this soon!

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