In an effort to keep up with the abundance of vegetables from our summer CSA, we’ve been having many salad dinners. As much as I love salad, for me, a meal never feels complete without a little something more. Enter cornbread. I crave cornbread throughout the year. In the fall and winter it goes perfectly with soup, stew, or chili. In spring and summer it’s the perfect accompaniment for salads and slaws. Cornbread’s magic is that it can be hearty with one dish or light with another.

This cornbread recipe is a favorite that I’ve made dozens, if not a hundred, times. However, the first time I made it with fresh ground, locally grown corn it was a new experience in flavor and texture. Honestly, it was like the first time I had ever tasted this cornbread. The fresh, nutty corn flavor came bursting through, and the texture was perfect—moist inside and crispy on the outside. What better way to highlight the corn from your CSA? I served this with a vegetable and bean salad and a side of slaw. Perfect.

Adapted from The Cornbread Gospels by Crescent Dragonwagon.

1-2 tablespoons butter
2 cups fresh ground corn meal (Nothstine Dent from the 2012 share, also available for sale at Wheatberry)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk (Organic Valley makes a great lowfat buttermilk that is rich and tangy)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

400℉, 20-25 mins.

Over medium heat melt the butter in a 10 inch cast iron skillet. I like to let the butter get good and hot, almost to the point of burning. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl lightly beat the eggs and add the remaining ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry while lightly stirring. Don’t overbeat, stir just until combined. Pour the mixture into the skillet and place in the preheated oven. Bake until golden brown, 20-25 mins.