Cornbread Panzanella with Sour Corn and Blueberries
Yields Serves 4
Recipe by Ashleigh Shanti of Benne on Eagle, Asheville, North Carolina
For the sour corn:
2½ tablespoons pickling salt
1 quart spring water (tap water can inhibit the fermentation process)
2½ tablespoons black peppercorns
Kernels from 1 dozen ears of corn
For the cornbread:
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups flour
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the salad:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup walnuts
½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2½ teaspoons dijon mustard
¼ cup olive oil
Pepper to taste
1 cup sour corn
2 english cucumbers, thinly sliced
½ cup blueberries, halved
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
Be sure to start the sour corn at least a week before making the panzanella salad.
Make the sour corn: Dissolve pickling salt in water, then add peppercorns. Add corn to a large jar and pour saltwater mixture over top. Using a small weight, such as a saucer, weigh down corn to ensure kernels remain submerged in brine. Over the course of 5 to 7 days, check corn to see if it’s developed a sour flavor. When it has, skim white film of yeast from surface, then transfer corn with its liquid to clean jars. Store refrigerated for up to 6 months.
Make the cornbread: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, melt butter and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pepper. In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, buttermilk, and eggs. Slowly incorporate flour mixture. Once combined, transfer to a greased baking dish and bake until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Cut cornbread into cubes and toss in oil and spread on a baking sheet. Toast until edges brown, then set aside to cool.
Make the salad: In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add walnuts and ½ teaspoon salt and toss to coat. Toast nuts until butter has browned slightly, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, olive oil, salt, pepper, and walnuts. Add sour corn and cucumbers. Toss gently, then top with blueberries and goat cheese.