Enjoy Fresh Seasonal Vegetables in Cornbread Panzanella

June 10, 2016

By Kay MacInnis, Registered Dietitian at Providence Health

Summer is officially here. There is so much fresh produce available to us this time of the year that it makes it easy to follow the DASH, MIND or Mediterranean diet.

These diets have been shown to improve some of the markers for certain diseases by decreasing inflammation. And to make an important point yet again: All the foods have a deep, vibrant color and lots of antioxidants.

Make this recipe with whatever fresh vegetables you find. If you don’t like cornbread, you can use day-old crusty Italian bread.

Cornbread Panzanella

Ingredients for Salad:

  • Olive oil
  • Cornbread, cut into 1 – inch cubes
  • Salt
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, torn

Ingredients for Dressing:

  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup EVOO
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped capers
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Oil a baking sheet.
  • Put the cornbread on the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with oil, season with salt.
  • Bake until nicely toasted, about 15 minutes.
  • Let cool completely.
  • In a large salad bowl, combine the cornbread, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and basil.
  • Make the dressing by whisking all ingredients together.
  • Add the dressing to the cornbread and vegetables and toss.
  • Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.

Yield: 10 servings

Nutrition Information: 285 Calories, 15.4 grams fat, 392 mg. sodium, 31 grams carbohydrate, 2.68 mg. protein.


This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, SC.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. Working in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, and adding her nutition know-how, she combines delicious with healthy to help patients help themselves after they leave the hospital. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the popular monthly Providence Cooks! classes.