Yesterday was just the beginning of our big 2017 summer BBQ plans. So if you had an amazing 4th of July feast, then let’s continue this theme throughout the summer and make it a goal to host or attend more barbecues this year. If your feast yesterday wasn’t so much a feast as much as it was a small modest meal, then you’re doing it wrong and we need to do something about it pronto. Don’t get caught off guard the next time you’re invited to a summer bash, not knowing what to make. This Mediterranean Cornbread is a refreshing take on an everyday classic cornbread recipe. Even cheddar jalapeño cornbread is yesterday’s news. (I’m guilty of making that variation all the time). This one, however, is studded with an obscene amount of crumbled feta, sundried tomatoes, olives, scallions, oregano and thyme. There’s no shortage in flavor and I bet you that no matter what occasion, this bread will be a nice addition to the table. I’m sure you’re aware by now that I love a good Mediterranean twist on every day dishes we’re all too familiar with. These Greek Nachos, Mediterranean Calzones, Greek Gyro Burgers, and Mediterranean Taquitos are just a small reminder that I’m not only crazy, but a little out of control with these Greek flavor combinations. When is enough, enough? I definitely don’t have the answer to that, so until I do, I’ll just keep throwing these out at ya. I hope you don’t mind.
You know I’m always going on and on about getting the most flavor out of any ingredient. This recipe is no different. I love adding fresh corn into my cornbread recipes. So let’s roast up some fresh corn and get those kernels off. Place the corn on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil or roast until charred all around. Let cool and then cut the kernels off, set aside.
**Note: If fresh corn is out of reach, I recommend using frozen corn instead. Just thaw it out and fold it into the batter later on as directed.**
In a large bowl sift or whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
Make a well in the center of the ingredients and add in the eggs, buttermilk and melted butter. Stir until just combined and evenly moistened.
**Note: Make sure to not over mix the batter at this point, because if you do, you’ll end up with a dry and tough cornbread. I like to stir my cornbread by hand because I find that making it with a mixer makes it easier for me to over mix.**
Add in all of the cornbread goodies, the corn, sundried tomatoes, scallions, olives, feta, and roasted garlic. Using a rubber spatula fold it all in until just combined and evenly distributed.
**Note: I grabbed roasted garlic from the store at the olive counter, but if you want to roast your own garlic, peel a bunch of cloves and then place them on a piece of foil. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and seal up into a packet. Roast in a preheated 375 degree F oven until soft and golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.**
Pour the batter into a 9-inch square baking pan, that has been greased and floured. Give the pan a few taps on the counter to dislodge any air bubbles. Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before inverting and cutting into pieces. Garnish with a bit more feta, oregano and thyme before serving. Serve warm.
Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic and kept in the fridge for up to 2 days. You can rewarm it in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 5 to 8 minutes before eating.
The great thing about this cornbread is that you don’t have to follow it to a T. You can omit a certain ingredient if you’re not the biggest fan of it. I know some people don’t like olives, so feel free to keep those out if you’d like. It won’t alter the final result at all. So if you’re intrigued but feel like maybe you don’t want olives in it (as an example) then by all means leave it out! Make it perfect for you and your tastebuds.
keep this one up your sleeves all summer long for all those BBQ’s you’re planning on hosting and/or attending. If you’re in need of some more BBQ inspiration, this Mediterranean Cornbread would be great with Strawberry Rhubarb BBQ Wings or Oven Roasted Buffalo Drumsticks or even Grilled Shrimp and Watermelon Salad.
So I mentioned this last time, but Saveur Magazine is hosting their annual Food Blog Award nominations right now as we speak. If you have a few minutes to spare, head on over to their site, and nominate your favorite food blogs. If one of your favorite food blogs happens to be mine, and you enjoy the work I put out, I’d be ever so grateful if you nominated The Candid Appetite for either the “Most Inspired Weeknight Dinners” category or “Best Photography.” I promise I won’t harp too long on this, but I figured why not give it a go. Thank you so much!
- 2 ears of corn
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup finely ground cornmeal
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (plus additional for garnish)
- ½ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ cup sliced black olives
- 2 tablespoons sliced scallions
- 2 tablespoons chopped roasted garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (plus additional for garnish)
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped (plus additional for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan, set aside.
- Rub corn with olive oil; grill or broil, turning often, until charred all around, about 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool before cutting kernels from the cob. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk or sift together, the flour, cornmeal, sugar baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk melted butter, eggs, and buttermilk, until well combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and then pour in the wet ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, stir until just combined. Fold in the feta, sundried tomatoes, olives, scallions, garlic, oregano and thyme until evenly distributed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes. Cool slightly before inverting and cutting. Garnish with remaining feta, oregano and thyme. Serve warm. Leftovers can be wrapped and kept in the fridge for up to 2 days. Enjoy!