Summer saddens a little as it fades to cooler autumn, but the end of summer is when the corn and tomatoes are at their prime. Plump and tart and juicy and warm from the sun, redness made round, tomatoes just scream summer. Corn, sweet and lovely in its field rows, repeats the pattern in its cobs, like some sly yellow fractal (repeated again in the eating, rows of white chomping down). Here’s another great way to use up the surplus of tomatoes & corn that flood the farmers’ markets around here this time of year. Pair this dish with a little French sauvignon blanc, like Quincy.
Tomato Corn Spoonbread
serves 8 as a side
2 cups water
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), plus 1 tablespoon more for buttering baking dish
2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
2 cups stone-ground cornmeal
2 cups corn kernels from fresh corn
1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 350º and grease 13×9 glass baking dish. Bring water, buttermilk, butter & tomato to boil over high heat. Whisk in cornmeal a bit at a time, stirring well to eliminate any lumps, then simmer mixture until thick, stirring constantly, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Beat eggs in large bowl, then stir in corn & cheese. Stir in baking powder, salt & sugar, then stir cornmeal mixture into egg-corn mixture a cup at a time. Grind in black pepper if desired. When ingredients are fully combined, pour into prepared baking dish and bake until set and slightly golden on top, about 45 minutes.