February 17, 2010

Basil & Olive Oil Cornbread

2 cups flour
2 cups cornmeal
1 3/4 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or spray one standard loaf pan or mini loaf pan that makes 4 one cup loaves. In a medium bowl, whisk together the basil, cornmeal, flour, baking powder and soda, sugar and salt. Beat in the egg, buttermilk and oil until well combined. Pour into pan and bake 25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
My thoughts:
I've gone mini loaf crazy after buying my pan this winter. I love being able to make a set of loaves and having one to eat (you can get quite a few servings out of one loaf) and three more to freeze or to give to friends. It really solves the food blogger problem of making food one day then trying another recipe the next day, you end up overwhelmed with leftovers. You could freeze half a loaf but the mini loaves are just perfectly sized and defrost well. Anyway, generally I a bit of a cornbread purist but I can't help but experiment. I love using olive oil in baked good when it makes sense and adds something to the final dish. In this bread, as in with lots of Italian food, olive oil pairs well with basil, and adds a fruity note. I liked the contrast of the earthy basil and the sweet corn a lot, it is a combination I will have to explore some more.