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Tommy C. Simmons, An enthusiastic cook
Photograph Tommy C. Simmons

If you are planning to attend a potluck anytime in the next few weeks, I have a salad you’ll love to make and take. It’s simple to assemble, feeds a crowd, and can be prepared several hours ahead. This is a big salad. It’s also a clean-out-the-leftovers kind of salad, meaning you can add leftover chopped turkey or ham to the mixture after your holiday dinners.

If you don’t have the ingredients to make your own salad dressing to bind the greens, vegetables and cornbread, use a readymade creamy dressing, such as Green Goddess or Creamy Ranch.

This will be one of your go-to recipes from now on, I promise.

Layered salad serves a crowd and can be made ahead.
Home kitchen-tested recipe by Tommy C. Simmons
Recipe is adapted from original by Corinne Cook in her cookbook, Extra! Extra! Read More About It!

Serves 8 to 10.

1 recipe cornbread or 1 (8 ½-oz.) box cornbread mix, prepared according to package directions, cooled and crumbled or cut into small cubes.
1 (14-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained (can substitute black eyed peas or home-cooked lady peas)
1 (14-oz.) can shoepeg corn, drained (can substitute yellow corn, Mexi-Corn or defrosted corn cut off a cob)
1 cup diced sweet Vidalia onion
3 fresh, ripe tomatoes, chopped into coarse dice
2 cups chopped or shredded Romaine lettuce

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 (1.0-oz.) envelope dry ranch salad dressing mix

8 ozs. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
4 or 5 slices crisply fried bacon, crumbled (optional)

  1. In a medium bowl, mix mayonnaise, sour cream, and dry ranch salad dressing mix. Set aside.
  2. Layer in a large bowl, half of the cornbread, half of the beans, half of the corn, onions, tomatoes, and lettuce. Repeat layers.
  3. Seal top of salad with the dressing.
  4. Garnish with Cheddar cheese, green onions and crumbled bacon. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours before serving. You have the option of tossing to make sure everyone tastes all the layers of ingredients or serving as is and letting guests dig in to find all the ingredients.

Posted December 12, 2014

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GardenSMART Featured Article

By Heather Rhoades,, Photographs courtesy of

Cover crops are an often-overlooked way to improve the vegetable garden. Oftentimes, people consider the time between late fall to winter to early spring to be a time where the vegetable garden space is wasted. We think our gardens rest during this time, but this is not the case at all. Read more...

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