Best Tex-Mex Cornbread Salad Recipe

Who says you can't turn bread into a complete meal?

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In her new book, Saladish, Ilene Rosen explores all the ways you can turn the all-too-often forgotten part of a meal into a feast unto itself. Just take this Mexican-inspired take on cornbread salad; after soaking up an oregano vinaigrette, crispy croutons are tossed with pepper Jack cheese, cherry tomatoes and crisp, lemony stems of purslane (which can be easily substituted with a few handfuls of cilantro or baby spinach). 

Make it a feast with our best Tex-Mex recipes.

Excerpted from 'Saladish,' by Ilene Rosen (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2018. Photographs by Joseph De Leo.

Tex-Mex Cornbread Salad
5 from 34 ratings
Learn how to make Ilene Rosen's Tex-Mex cornbread salad with pepper Jack cheese, tomatoes and purslane from her new book, Saladish.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 55 minutes
  • :::For the Cornbread: :::
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • For the Mexican Oregano Vinaigrette
  • ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 cup flavorless vegetable oil
  • For the Salad
  • 8 ounces pepper Jack cheese, cut into ⅓inch cubes
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 handfuls (about 5 ounces) purslane, torn into sprigs, or spinach, stems trimmed
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
Optional Ingredients
  • Kosher salt (optional)
  1. Make the cornbread: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Generously butter a 9-inch square cake pan.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Lightly whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter in a small bowl, then stir into the dry ingredients to blend.
  3. Pour the batter into the buttered pan and spread it evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the edges pull away from the sides of the pan; a toothpick poked into the center should come out clean. Remove from the oven, but leave the oven on. Cool slightly on a rack, then unmold onto the rack and cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Cut the cornbread into 1-inch cubes and spread them out on a sheet pan. Return to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until all the edges are crisp and toasted. Transfer to another sheet pan to cool.
  5. Make the vinaigrette: Put the vinegar, mustard, and oregano in the bowl of a food processor or in a blender and pulse to combine. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil until the mixture is emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Put the cornbread cubes, cheese, and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl. Pour three-quarters of the vinaigrette over them and toss thoroughly. Check the seasoning and add salt if necessary. Toss the greens separately with the remaining dressing.
  7. Layer the cornbread mixture into a wide bowl with the dressed greens and 6 tablespoons each of the pumpkin seeds and scallions. Scatter the remaining 2 tablespoons each of seeds and scallions over the top. Serve.
Calories per Serving 1,223
Total Fat 94.6 g
Saturated Fat 22.9 g
Trans Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 171.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 64.9 g
Dietary Fiber 5.0 g
Total Sugars 16.2 g
Sodium 1,186.3 mg
Protein 32.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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