Zucchini skillet cornbread

By Tara O'Brady
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While we’re calling it a cornbread, this leans into spoonbread traditions. It’s slightly custardy, while still boasting a bouncy, tight crumb. With both zucchini and corn in the mix it shows off two stars of the August farmstand. Complete the trifecta by roasting cherry tomatoes on the vine alongside—simply dress them with olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper, and pop them in the oven for the last 10 minutes as the cornbread bakes. Serve with the tomatoes at all times of day. The cornbread works just as well at breakfast with scrambled eggs and ham as it does with barbeque and salads at night.

SERVES
8
 TO
10

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchini, stemmed
  • 1 cup (127 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (160 g) cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons medium-grained kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chile flakes
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ears of corn, husked
  • 1/2 cup (56 g) grated old cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup (57 g) crumbled queso fresco, fresh goat cheese, or feta
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed and sliced into thin rings
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges through the root
  • Small bunch of chives, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • Microgreens, edible flowers for garnish, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 400°F with a 10-inch cast iron skillet on the middle rack.
  2. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the zucchini onto a clean, lint-free kitchen towel. Spread out the strands, then roll up in the towel quite tightly. Leave, bundled, while you make the rest of the batter.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, ground coriander, and chile flakes. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the cream, eggs and olive oil together. Break the corn cobs in half to create a flat bottom upon which they’ll stand straight. Cut the kernels from the cobs and add to the liquids. Using the back of the knife or a large spoon, and working over the egg mixture, carefully scrape the spent cops to pull milk from the fibres. Fold the zucchini and cheddar into the mixture, followed by the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  5. Carefully pull the hot skillet from the oven. Melt the butter in the pan, swirling to coat the surface. Pour in the batter. Crumble the queso fresco over the surface, scatter the jalapeño, onion, the chives, and half of the cilantro on top. Bake in the hot oven until puffed and golden, and a tester inserted in the centre comes out almost clean, 35 minutes.
  6. Immediately garnish with the remaining cilantro, microgreens and flowers, if using. Serve warm, drizzled with the Charred Jalapeño Honey.

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