Fall Southern Salad with Smoky Ham, Cornbread Croutons, Cheddar, and Glazed Pecans

Cornbread croutons? Yes, I said it. It’s the perfect topping for a fall-inspired “Southern” salad.

Smoky ham, salty cheddar cheese, juicy peaches (or sub apples if you’re “peach-less”), buttery candied pecans, tangy scallions, and an apple cider vinaigrette  – this salad is full of some super tasty “stuff.”  The best types of salads feature a little lettuce and a whole lot of “stuff!”

Full of contrasting flavors and textures (sweet, salty, smoky, and acidic), it’s the perfect dinner salad to reign in the chilly weather. I dare you to not sample a cornbread crouton or two. Or three.

 

 

 

Makes: 4 dinner salads

Prep time: 35 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

The Ingredients

3 medium heads butterhead lettuce (sub romaine if needed!)

3 pickling cucumbers, sliced in half moons

4 ears corn, cut from the cob

4 thick slices ham, diced (you can even go to the deli and get super thick-cut ham!)

1 cup glazed pecans

1 cup cornbread, cut into bite-sized chunks

¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese chunks (or sub shredded cheddar)

2 ripe peaches (or sub apples)

1 bunch scallions, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

~3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

~1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

 

 

 

The Steps

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, add lettuce, cucumber, corn, ham, pecans, cheddar, and scallions.

Place cornbread on a baking sheet. Drizzle and toss lightly in olive oil. Place in oven, and bake until just beginning to brown and crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine apple cider vinegar, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Add more vinegar or olive oil dependent on how “tart” you like your dressing! The typical rule of thumb is 3 parts oil for every 1-part vinegar. Whisk together to combine. Pour dressing over salad, and toss until well-combined.

Plate. Add sliced peaches, and warm cornbread croutons.

 

 

 

The Steps with Pictures

Preheat oven to a high broil.

In a large bowl, add lettuce, cucumber, corn, ham, pecans, cheddar, and scallions.

Place cornbread on a baking sheet. Drizzle and toss lightly in olive oil. Place in oven, and bake until until just beginning to brown and crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine apple cider vinegar, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Add more vinegar or olive oil dependent on how “tart” you like your dressing! The typical rule of thumb is 3 parts oil for every 1-part vinegar. Whisk together to combine. Pour dressing over salad, and toss until well-combined.

Plate. Add sliced peaches, and warm cornbread croutons.

 

 

 

 

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