Fresh Corn Spoonbread, Homage to Bologna

August  4, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4 to 6
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:

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

What You'll Need
  • 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.
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  • checker
  • wssmom
  • lorigoldsby
  • cookinginvictoria
  • lapadia

15 Reviews

checker August 9, 2011
Polenta. Ricotta. Peppers. Wow.
boulangere August 9, 2011
I love the colors!
wssmom August 7, 2011
Heavenly breakfast, indeed. I think it would make a heavenly brunch dish. or supper. Or snack .....
boulangere August 9, 2011
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 August 5, 2011
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?
boulangere August 5, 2011
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 . . .
cookinginvictoria August 5, 2011
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.
boulangere August 5, 2011
I hope you enjoy it, CIV.
lapadia August 5, 2011
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.
boulangere August 5, 2011
It's changed my life. No more escaping kernels. Thanks, lapadia.
hardlikearmour August 4, 2011
This sounds awesome. I love the combo of peppers with the corn.
boulangere August 4, 2011
Colors and all that cheese . . . .
boulangere August 4, 2011
Small, wonderful portions
susan G. August 4, 2011
Assume the photo is for step 5? This is very appealing, with or without step 5!
boulangere August 4, 2011
LOL! Yes, your intuition is accurate.