Cheesy Summer Harvest Cornbread

Cheesy Summer Harvest Cornbread

Joanne Lennon engages her staff in serving fresh, local food in many creative ways. One is to hold recipe contests. In the original winning recipe, blue cheese dressing stands in for buttermilk, and Parmesan joins cheddar. This version is reduced in volume for the home kitchen and replaces some cheese with fresh summer corn. It’s easy enough to make with children, just mind the handling of the hot pan. If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, melt the butter in a small saucepan and use it to grease an 8-inch-square baking dish.

This would go well with stone soup.

1 cup (4¼ ounces) white whole-wheat or all-purpose flour

1 cup (4½ ounces) stone-ground yellow cornmeal

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1½ cups low-fat buttermilk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons butter

1½ cups fresh spinach, chopped

1½ cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)

1 cup (about 4 ounces) shredded cheddar 

Preheat oven to 425°.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, salt, and pepper. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients; add buttermilk and eggs. Gently stir until most of the dry ingredients have absorbed the liquid.

Place butter in 8-inch cast-iron skillet and heat in oven until butter has melted. Carefully remove from oven and brush melted butter around bottom and sides of pan.

Fold spinach, corn kernels, and cheese into batter; then pour into hot skillet. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat, and let it bake in the oven for another 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool in pan 15 minutes before digging in! This is the hardest part of the recipe.