Corn and Tomato Salad Panzanella

Corn and Tomato Salad

With buttery toasted bread, fresh basil, creamy mozzarella cheese… hungry yet?

Corn and Tomato Salad done up Panzanella style with loads of veggies and golden, buttery, toasted bread. You can make this salad all year long, but I have to say that it’s absolutely divine smack in the middle of summer when the tomatoes are at their juiciest, you have a garden full of fresh, leafy basil, cucumbers are sweet and delicious and corn is at it’s absolute corniest.

Serve this any night of the week all summer long. An easy family weeknight dinner that’s also an impressive, but effortless meal for summertime entertaining. Pop the Prosecco, throw a couple rib-eyes on the grill and mix up this big bowl of deliciousness. I know I’d be impressed if I came over. Hint hint.

Corn and Tomato Salad

This recipe begs the question ‘How do you define a salad?’. What I’m looking for here is an answer to this – is a salad still a salad if half of it is bread? My answer is of course yes, but…

When I started Googling what defines a salad most sources seem to say it’s cold mixed raw vegetables with a dressing. I find this pretty restricting and if you look at the salad page on my site you’ll find that I absolutely do not adhere to this rule. So I kept looking because confirmation bias is a theory I strongly support.

I eventually found a definition somewhere that said that a salad is one or more things mixed together and combined with some kind of goo. So things + goo = salad. This. This I can work with.

If a bowl full of toasted bread qualifies as salad in your world too then stick around… you’re going to love what I have for you.

Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad
Corn and Tomato Salad

Corn and Tomato Salad

An easy grilled corn, juicy tomato, creamy mozzarella, buttery French bread and fresh basil Panzanella salad that is absolutely flavour packed.
No ratings yet
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

For the dressing:

  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese finely grated
  • 2 Tbsp capers

For the bread:

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 6 cups French bread cut into cubes (about 1” size)

For the salad:

  • 1 cup corn kernels from about 2 ears corn*
  • 3 baby cucumbers chopped
  • 14-15 grape or cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1/4 red onion thinly sliced**
  • 1 bunch fresh basil sliced into ribbons
  • 1 1/2 cups mini Bocconcini cheese or torn fresh mozzarella

Instructions
 

Make the dressing:

  • Add the garlic, dijon, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to a bowl and whisk well.
  • Stir in the parmesan and the capers. Set aside.

Make the toasted bread:

  • Heat the oil and the butter in a large skillet.
  • Add the bread, stir and season heavily with S&P.
  • Continue to cook over low-med heat, stirring often until browned, about 8-9 minutes. Set aside.

Make the salad:

  • In a large bowl combine the corn, tomatoes, cucumber, pepper and red onion.
  • Add the bread cubes and pour over the vinaigrette. Toss well, taste and add S&P to taste, if needed.
  • Add the basil and toss again.
  • Serve.

Notes

*buttered and grilled in grill pan or skillet rotating so butter melts in on all sides and there are a few brown spots, cut off cobs
**I like to rinse and drain the slices to take some of the bite out of the onion
Keyword Corn and Tomato Salad
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Skillet Grilled Corn

Corn and tomato salad Recipe ingredients, tips, substitutions:

Corn – raw fresh corn in a salad is totally acceptable, but I prefer it lightly cooked in one way or another to take away a little of the starchy taste. You can grill the corn on an outdoor grill or on the stove in a grill pan or cast iron skillet. Whatever you do, I like to slather the corn in a little butter first so it gets a little caramelized and extra sweet and what doesn’t butter make better? If you don’t have access to fresh corn you can use frozen, just thaw it and drain it first.

Tomatoes – any small tomato is great. I usually use grape tomatoes because they are so readily available, but little cherry tomatoes are delicious too.

Bread – I’ve used french bread in this recipe, but you can sub in another bread. Sourdough is delish.

Onion – I love the flavour of red onion, but I do like to give it a rinse or a quick soak in cold water to take away a little of the bite.

Vinegar – this recipe uses white wine vinegar, but you can use red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar or even apple cider vinegar.

Cheese – I love mini bocconcini because it’s so easy to just throw in, but torn or cubed fresh mozzarella works equally well. If you want to mix it up you can use crumbled feta cheese or even goat cheese.

Corn and Tomato Salad Recipe Variations:

Southwestern Version – swap out the mozzarella/bocconcini for crumbled feta cheese or queso fresco. Swap out the vinegar in the dressing for fresh lime juice. Swap out the fresh basil for fresh cilantro. Omit the parmesan cheese and capers from the dressing and add in some chopped, pickled jalapeños and 1/2 tsp cumin. I like to turn this version into a Black Bean Tomato and Corn Salad too by adding in about 1/2 can of black beans.

Spicy Version – add in a bigger pinch of red pepper flakes, swirl a little calabrian chili paste into the dressing and add in some chopped pepperoncini peppers.

Meal Salad Version – top the salad with grilled chicken breast, shrimp or steak. I also like to add a chopped avocado when I serve this salad as a full meal.

Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad

Corn and Tomato Salad recipe, how to make it…

Start by preparing the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a bowl or a jar, whisk well and set aside. You can do this ahead of time – even the day before – to get ahead of the game.

Next, toast up the buttery bread cubes. Heat up some extra virgin olive oil and some butter in a large skillet, add in the bread, season well with S&P and toss well. Cook, tossing often, until golden brown. You can also do this step earlier in the day.

Add all your salad ingredients to a large bowl, add in the bread and pour over the dressing. Toss in the fresh basil and serve.

Pro-tip: If you want to make this salad ahead to bring to a party or a picnic I’d advise you combine all ingredients except the dressing and the bread in a bowl and add those elements right before serving.

Corn and Tomato Salad

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2 Comments

  1. Joni Pypers

    5 stars

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