Mini Cornmeal Cakes with Heirloom Tomato Relish

Hi guys! How was your 4th of July weekend? We had four long days and I don’t think we could possibly have enjoyed it any more! Town fireworks on Wednesday night (and sparklers out in front of the house just about every other night), frisbee on the lawn in the late afternoon sun, great Wimbledon matches on tv, long evening walks, several summer movies…does it really have to end??

We crossed a trip to the drive-in theater off our summer bucket list on Saturday night, and despite the insane heat (which I secretly love), it was a blast! We saw White House Down and The Heat, which were both fun. Don’t worry, there were plenty of snacks to be had :)

Speaking of food, I can’t remember the last time we indulged so much for 4 days straight…

Diptic

Diptic

It was just one plate of deliciousness after another, highlighted by a towering pile of ribs straight off the grill, blue velvet cupcakes, and s’mores! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it all again, but the madness stops today. There are salads galore on this week’s menu, major detox time.

Mini Cornmeal Cakes with Heirloom Tomato Relish

Over the weekend my tomato plant suddenly sprouted its first 5 tomatoes! They’re still tiny and green, but so far I’ve managed to keep the squirrels away and that alone seems like a major victory. I seriously cannot wait for the tomatoes to be ready. I’ve got a mile-long list of things to make, and somewhere on that list are these mini cornmeal cakes topped with tomato relish. I spotted them while flipping through an issue of Cooking Light a few months ago, and immediately flagged the recipe as the perfect summer appetizer. I made it the next week and loved it! It’s super easy to throw together and can you believe how gorgeous all of the bright colors are in the final result? Summer on a plate!

Mini Cornmeal Cakes with Heirloom Tomato Relish

The mini cornmeal cakes at the base really are tiny, making this a great two-bite appetizer. A little sour cream is spread on each cake and then they’re topped with the tomato relish, which is comprised of tomatoes, basil, olive oil and garlic. The garlic is raw so you’ll want to be sure it’s finely minced. You could always quickly saute the garlic too if you’d rather. The simple combination of ingredients is light and fresh tasting, and I imagine it’ll be even better with home-grown tomatoes! The only caveat is that these are really at their best shortly after being assembled so I wouldn’t make them too far in advance.

Mini Cornmeal Cakes with Heirloom Tomato Relish
from Cooking Light, May 2013

Relish
1 lb heirloom tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced

Cakes
1.75 oz (about 1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 1/2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 large egg, separated

4 teaspoons reduced-fat sour cream

To make the relish: Mix the tomatoes, basil, oil, salt, pepper, and garlic together in a medium bowl – set aside.

To make the cornmeal cakes: Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. In a small measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and the egg yolk (reserve the white!) until combined. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk just until barely combined. Add the egg white to a small bowl and use a hand mixer to beat until the egg holds soft peaks. Continue beating just slightly longer for medium peaks (you don’t want stiff peaks so don’t overbeat). Add one quarter of the egg white to the batter and fold until incorporated. Gently fold in the remaining egg white just until combined.

Set a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray. When the pan is hot, add about 1 tablespoon of batter for each cornmeal cake (they’re tiny!), spreading the batter as necessary to make a fairly thin round. Cook for about 1 minute, or until the edges start to set and the top bubbles. Flip and cook for about 1 minute on the other side. Repeat until you’ve used all of the batter.

To assemble: Spread about 1/4 teaspoon sour cream on each cornmeal cake then top with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the tomato relish. These are best served immediately.

Makes about 16