Fresh Corn Spoonbread, Homage to Bologna

By • August 4, 2011 • 17 Comments

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Author Notes: When the daughter and I were in Italy, it was serious pepper season. Be they hot or be they sweet, they were at all the vegetable stands in Bologna in their abundant and colorful glory. For this tender, custardy spoonbread I used an anaheim pepper for some gentle heat, along with a cherry-red bell for color. Some lemon zest brightens it all up.

And if you really want to gild the lily, gently warm leftovers and serve with a poached egg and a couple of slices of tomato for a heavenly breakfast. And don’t forget some more of that fresh dill. Now that I think of it, I'd make this for breakfast or brunch alone on the cooler end of the day. Or even in the dead of winter with (thawed) frozen corn.

Do be sure to follow the patented food52 method of stripping the kernels from the cobs. Not only is it safer, but the kernels don’t fly all around like stray popcorn. Here it is:
http://www.food52.com/blog/2259_how_to_dekernel_corn

A final note: be brave - don't overbake it!
boulangere

Serves 4 to 6

  • Melted butter
  • Kernels from 4 ears of corn, about 2 cups
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1 anaheim pepper seeded and diced fine
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced fine
  • 8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, 1/2" cubes
  • Sea or kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh dill fronds for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the inside of an 8" or 9" x 3" baking pan or casserole with melted butter. Alternatively, drop a couple of tablespoons of butter into it, set in the microwave for 1 minute, remove and swirl the butter around the bottom and sides. Saves washing a pan and a brush.
  2. Stir together in a mixing bowl the corn kernels, polenta, and both peppers. Add the ricotta and eggs and stir to blend. Finally, stir in the cubes of mozzarella. Season to taste with salt, about 2 teaspoons, and pepper, several grinds. Scrape into your buttered casserole.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees until done, about 45 minutes. As noted, be brave! Don't overbake it. It's done when slightly puffed and light golden in color.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Dish with a large spoon, obviously, and garnish with fresh dill fronds.
  5. Ah, and don't forget to open a bottle of something crisp and white.
Jump to Comments (17)

Tags: fresh corn, fresh mozzarella, ricotta, spoonbread

Comments (17) Questions (0)

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Checker

about 3 years ago checker

Polenta. Ricotta. Peppers. Wow.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I love the colors!

Me

about 3 years ago wssmom

Heavenly breakfast, indeed. I think it would make a heavenly brunch dish. or supper. Or snack .....

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

When I first thought about it, I was envisioning a side dish. But as I was posting it, I realized how good it might be under a tender poached egg. So I tried it last weekend - reheated some of the spoonbread with a little extra cream and set a lovely golden orb atop it. Heavenly!

Lorigoldsby

about 3 years ago lorigoldsby

Wonderful! Sure looking forward to more recipes inspired by your trip! We loved our time in Bologna...did you make it over to Modena to visit some of the balsamic houses?

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, we loved Bologna, too, Lori! No, we didn't make it to Modena, but the daughter plans to go back to Florence next summer (for 3 gasp months), so I imagine there will be opportunities to wander further. I can't say I was totally ready to come back . . .

Cimg0737

about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

This sounds so delicious. Peppers, corn and cheese . . . all of my favorite summer food groups are represented here! Adding it to my list of recipes to try soon.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I hope you enjoy it, CIV.

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

about 3 years ago lapadia

Wow...a great, delicious comfort food dish! Also, btw, with my running around this week I totally missed F52's handy tip - how to dekernel the corn, so thanks for including that in your head note.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

It's changed my life. No more escaping kernels. Thanks, lapadia.

Gator_cake

about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

This sounds awesome. I love the combo of peppers with the corn.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Colors and all that cheese . . . .

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Small, wonderful portions

Scan0004

about 3 years ago susan g

Assume the photo is for step 5? This is very appealing, with or without step 5!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

LOL! Yes, your intuition is accurate.

3-bizcard

about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh wow! this is amazing. love spoon bread.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Me too!