Seasonal Kitchen: Upside-Down Crispy Tomato Sage Cornbread

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Tomatoes are in abundance this time of year in Central Florida, and this easy recipe from a Couple Cooks and Village Farms uses homemade cornbread as the base for fresh tomatoes, sage and Parmesan cheese. Village Farms Sinfully Sweet Campari tomatoes, deep red and larger than cherry tomatoes, were used for this version, but you could use any fresh, ripe tomatoes.

Upside-Down Crispy Tomato Sage Cornbread

Serves 8

5 to 6 tomatoes (enough for 24 thin slices)

12 small fresh sage leaves

1½ cups cornmeal

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1½ tablespoons baking powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

3 eggs

1½ cups milk

½ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a serrated knife, thinly slice tomatoes. Salt them and place on a cutting board. After a few minutes, transfer to a paper towel and place another paper towel on top to remove as much liquid as possible. Wash and dry sage leaves.

In a large bowl, stir together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.In another bowl, whisk eggs, then stir in milk and olive oil.

Place butter in 9×13-inch pan and place in oven for a few minutes to melt butter. Remove from oven and brush butter over entire pan. Arrange tomatoes and sage leaves on the bottom of the pan (ours fit 6 rows of 4 tomatoes; make sure to place sage leaves upside down).Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Carefully pour batter over tomatoes and sage leaves, making sure not to move the rows of tomatoes. Smooth out top with a spatula.

Bake 30 minutes or until the sides are browned (if oven is uneven, at 15 minutes rotate the pan for even baking). Remove from oven and run a sharp knife around edges, then carefully invert onto a baking sheet. Top with a thin layer of finely grated Parmesan cheese and broil on high for 3 to 4 minutes until crisp.

Cut into pieces and serve warm (or at room temperature). To store, wrap remaining pieces in aluminum foil and refrigerate or freeze. Reheat in a 350°F oven until warmed through and crisp. 

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