2 tablespoons olive oil, for tossing the baked croutons
Fresh herbs (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and grease a 12-inch cast iron skillet with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Place the skillet in the oven or on top of the stove to heat.
For the batter, place the cornmeal in a large bowl, and stir in the buttermilk and vegetable oil until smooth. Pour the batter into the hot skillet, and place the skillet in the oven. Bake until it is lightly browned, about 16 to 20 minutes. Run a knife around the skillet and turn the cornbread out onto a rack to cool completely. Cut the cornbread into 1-inch squares.
Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees. Place 4 cups cornbread squares in a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Turn onto a baking sheet and spread them out in one layer.
Place the pan in the oven, and bake the croutons until they are lightly browned, stirring once or twice during cooking, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and let the croutons cool before tossing on top of your favorite salad.