Beet and Corn Panzanella
1 loaf day-old sourdough or other hearty bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (should be about 6 cups of bread cubes)
3 large or 6 small red beets (golden would work as well), roasted and cooled
2 cups cooked corn kernels
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic
Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/3 cup)
2 tablespoons honey
Approximately 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking the beets and croutons
Salt and pepper
Goat cheese (optional)Begin by roasting the beets — wash them, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Place in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes, then remove and allow them to cool in the foil (they’ll continue to cook that way). (I did this the night before making the salad.)
Once the beets are cooked and cooled, the skins should slip right off. Peel the beets and slice them thinly; if they’re large, cut the slices in half. Set the sliced beets aside.
Combine the warm bread cubes, beets, corn, and basil in a large bowl. Pour 1/2 of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Depending on the density and texture of your bread, you may need more dressing. Taste and add more dressing as needed. (I used about 2/3 of what was made.) Serve the salad immediately, topped with crumbled goat cheese if desired.