With hearty stews, soups, or a big antipasto salad, this tomato-flecked corn bread is sure to please. Serve leftover corn bread for breakfast – halved, buttered, grilled, and topped with scrambled eggs.
1 large Florida tomato, cored and halved crosswise
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup plain yogurt
Using your finger, push the seeds and surrounding liquid out of the tomato. Dice the tomato and set it aside in a strainer to drain.
Gently melt the butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and remove from the heat. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, cheese, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and herbs. In a separate bowl, blend the eggs, milk, and yogurt. Pour the melted butter into the liquid, but leave a heavy coating of butter in the pan.
Make a well in the dry mixture and add the liquid. Stir briskly to blend, then fold in the diced tomato. Turn the batter into the buttered skillet and bake for 25 minutes, until the surface is light golden. The top should resist gentle finger pressure. Let stand for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.
YIELD: 8 servings