Tomato, Goat Cheese, and Basil Cornbread


Photograph courtesy of Laura C. Martin, "Green Market Baking Book"

From Green Market Baking Book by Laura C. Martin

Martin suggests serving this pretty bread with a summer salad. Just before serving, cut each loaf into 1/2-inch slices, place on a cookie sheet, and toast in a preheated, 350-degree oven. Serve hot.

6 tablespoons butter
4 small green onions, white parts only, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus 4 to 6 whole basil leaves
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
2 plum tomatoes

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease 4 small loaf pans with olive oil. In a saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the green onions and cook until soft. Add the chopped basil and turn off the heat.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and milk with the onion mixture. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the egg mixture, stirring untl just blended. Do not overmix.

3. Divide half the batter among the 4 loaf pans. Chop the tomatoes into small chunks. Place 1 tablespoon of chopped tomatoes lengthwise down the center of the batter in each pan. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of goat cheese on top of the tomatoes. Top with 1 or 2 whole basil leaves. Divide the remaining batter among the 4 pans.

4. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the bread from the pans and cool on a wire rack.