I actually debated calling this recipe: Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella Cornbread. I mean, because really, that's what it is. But, because I like alliteration, I thought Caprese Cornbread had a nice ring to it. Geek much? Totally.
Insalata Caprese (in Italian it means: Salad of Capri) is a simple Italian salad of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Thank you to Wikipedia for that explanation. Google is a beautiful thing, no?Anyhow, a bit of olive oil is drizzled over the top of the whole salad. In this recipe, the tomatoes are sun-dried but it totally works here. Let's be honest, sun-dried tomatoes are not the purdiest things in the world, but daggone it - they are SO flavorful!
If you aren't real familiar with using sun-dried tomatoes, then this is the perfect recipe to try them. You can find the jars in a couple of places in your grocery store. My local Kroger actually has them in two locations: over by the canned tomatoes (usually on a top shelf) and in the aisle where all the pasta sauce and Italian products are located. The tomatoes are kept soaking in flavorful olive oil to keep them pliable and delicious.
I can't wait for you to try this. We're making it just a bit easier by using my favorite Martha White cornbread. It is super delicious and tastes just like homemade so it's my go-to when making cornbread. And I'm making it all in my 10 1/2-inch Lodge Cast Iron skillet. You know why? Well, because it's good and it gives me those crispy edges that I love on savory cornbread. But you wanna know another reason why? Because we're celebrating the National Cornbread Festival again! Woot Woot! The fun is in South Pittsburg, Tennessee (the home of Lodge Cast Iron) on April 23rd & 24th.
If you have never been - it is so much fun! It's family-friendly and the whole town gets in on the fun! Martha White and Lodge Cast Iron team up every year to host the National Cornbread Cook-Off. Amazing homecooks come out to share their very best cornbread recipes and to compete for the top prize! And to celebrate the cook-off, me and a bunch of my food blogging friends are having a virtual potluck to celebrate all things cornbread! Scroll down to see all the recipes we're sharing today!
Now, the rules of the cook-off are that you have to create a recipe using at least one packet of Martha White cornbread mix and a Lodge cast iron skillet in the preparation. So I created this recipe using those guidelines. It may seem like a super simple recipe but man oh man - does it pack SO much flavor!
2 (6 oz.) packets Martha White Cotton Country Cornbread
1 1/2 cups water
1 Eggland's Best egg
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 (12 oz.) container marinated mozzarella balls
1 (7 oz.) jar sun-dried tomatoes
Apparently the egg was camera shy as it appeared she didn't show up for the casting call...
Preheat oven to 450f degrees. Coat a 9 or 10-inch cast iron skillet with a layer of vegetable or olive oil. Be generous with the coating of oil since you don't want the cornbread to stick when trying to remove it. When oven is finished preheating, place the skillet into the oven to warm up (for about 6-8 minutes.)
While skillet is warming up, prepare the cornbread batter. In a large bowl, mix together both packets of cornbread mix with water and egg.
Finely chop basil and sun-dried tomatoes. And cut mozzarella balls in half.
Add basil, mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes to cornbread batter. Stir gently until combined.When skillet has warmed, add cornbread batter to the skillet. Note: Please be careful removing the cast iron skillet from the oven. It is heavy and hot so use oven gloves and take care.
Bake cornbread (on middle oven rack) for approximately 15 to 20 minutes (until golden brown.)
Then slice and serve while warm! This cornbread reheats really well too.Enjoy!