Add Sun-Dried Tomatoes For Rich And Savory Notes In Cornbread

Here at Tasting Table, we're all about cornbread mix-ins. From pickled jalapeños slices to sage and honey, cornbread may be simple, but it's far from a one-trick pony — especially with the addition of some flavorful confetti. On that note, add sun-dried tomatoes to your favorite cornbread recipe for an instant tangy, salty, colorful, flavor-packed loaf.

While they might be the perfect size for skillet meals and soups, you'll need to give those sun-dried tomatoes a good dice to make them work for your savory cornbread batter. (A sharp chef's knife or kitchen scissors work well). Two ounces of dry-packed or a quarter cup of oil-packed tomatoes is a good jumping-off point, but you can always add more or less to suit your preference. If you're using dry-pack sun-dried tomatoes, you'll need to soften them first in a small bowl of boiling water. If you're using oil-packed tomatoes, drain off the oil before chopping. You can discard it, or mix a few tablespoons of the reserved oil into your cornbread batter instead of other moistening ingredients you might normally use, like sour cream or buttermilk.

To incorporate, simply stir the chopped sun-dried tomato pieces into your regular cornbread batter. For an aesthetic presentation, gently press a few whole sun-dried tomatoes and some fresh basil leaves into the top of the loaf right after it comes out of the oven.

Toe the sweet-savory line with grace

The sun-dried tomatoes do enough heavy lifting on their own, but feel free to stir in whatever other flavorful mix-ins you might want to add. You could toss a sauteed shallot or some torn fresh herbs into the mix. Use coarsely ground cornmeal for a rustic cornbread with a thicker crumb. Or, to create a more savory profile, add a handful of shredded smoked mozzarella cheese to your batter.

Sun-dried tomato cornbread makes a flavor-packed accompaniment to any soup, chowder, or chili. It's great beside a caprese salad or glazed pork chops. If you have two loaf pans, you could make a quick, hearty, loaf-centric dinner of meatloaf and this cornbread. Got a cast iron skillet? You could even cook it over an open fire.

Whip out this economical yet impressive loaf whenever you need to bring a dish to share. Rolling up to the function with this bad boy makes the holiday season and its often-costly marathon of parties a breeze. Sun-dried tomato cornbread can be an especially welcome treat when fresh veggie flavor is in short supply during the colder months. Also, with its mostly shelf-stable ingredient lineup, this elevated cornbread is conveniently made from things you might already have on hand in your pantry, plus staples like butter and eggs. On the note of longevity, this sturdy loaf stays fresh in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few days.