Tomato-and-Okra Cornmeal Cakes

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck
Other tasty additions to this recipe might include bacon pieces, microgreens, chopped avocado, or fresh broccoli sprouts.

Yield:

Makes 16 appetizer servings

Recipe from

Recipe Time

Hands-on: 50 Minutes
Total: 50 Minutes

Ingredients

2 cups plain yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large egg
1 garlic clove
1/2 pound fresh okra, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup canola oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup of your favorite pimiento cheese
Arugula
1 pound small tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Fresh basil leaves

Preparation

1. Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together egg and 1 1/2 cups water; add to cornmeal mixture, whisking until smooth.

2. Smash garlic to make a paste. Stir okra, jalapeño, and garlic paste into cornmeal mixture. (Batter will be thick and will thicken even more as it sits, so add water, if needed.)

3. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Pour 1 Tbsp. batter for each cake into skillet, and gently flatten into a 2-inch cake. (Don't overcrowd the cakes in the skillet.) Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles. Turn and cook 2 to 3 more minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Keep warm in a 200° oven. Repeat procedure with remaining batter and oil.

4. Spread each cake with about 1 tsp. pimiento cheese. Top with arugula, tomato, basil, and kosher salt and pepper.

Note:

Virginia Willis,

July 2012