Level Up A Classic By Adding Tomatoes To Your Favorite Cornbread

Slices of cornbread in a skillet
Slices of cornbread in a skillet - Oksana_Slepko/Shutterstock

There are few foods as comforting and warming on a cold winter day as a hearty bowl of chili. And, of course, no chili dinner is complete without a fresh-out-of-the-oven side of cornbread. Cornbread's gritty texture and slightly sweet taste perfectly complement the fiery kick of the chili, making for a well-rounded dinner.

But, if you want to amplify this classic side even more, there's a secret ingredient to add when making the bread to really enhance the flavor: tomatoes. When added to your cornbread, tomatoes give the dish a touch of acidity while also pairing with the bread's natural sweetness. Plus, they add a unique appearance to your dish that can make it look more striking.

If this idea already has your mouth watering, there are a few different ways that you can incorporate tomatoes into your cornbread. Plus, there are other additions to toss in as well that can enhance the meal even more.

Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid

How To Use Tomatoes In Your Cornbread

Tomatoes chopped on a cutting board
Tomatoes chopped on a cutting board - Skhoward/Getty Images

There are several different types of tomatoes that you can use in your cornbread. For starters, you can use fresh tomatoes such as roma or heirloom. Or, you can use roasted tomatoes for a bit of smoky flavor. Another option is to go with sun-dried tomatoes, which are bursting with seasoning and soaked in oil.

Once you've got your chosen tomatoes in hand, it's time to get down to adding them to the cornbread. This method will vary depending on what kind of tomatoryan you've chosen. If you're using fresh, you can salt them and dry them and then use them to line a cast-iron pan. Or just line the pan with roasted tomatoes. Either way, you'll then pour the batter from your favorite cornbread recipe on top. When the bread comes out of the oven, flip the whole thing upside down. Alternatively, you can pour the batter into the pan first and top it with the slices of tomato.

Another way to add the tomatoes to the recipe is to mix drained sun-dried or fresh cherry tomatoes right into the batter. Whichever route you go, you'll get the same burst of tomato flavor in your final dish and a bright pop of red tomato in your bread.

Other Add-Ins To Elevate Tomato Cornbread

Two mini loaves of cornbread stacked
Two mini loaves of cornbread stacked - Geshas/Getty Images

Adding tomatoes to your cornbread is just the tip of the iceberg to upgrading this baked good. To complement the addition, you can also toss in other mix-ins. Herbs, whether you go with fresh ones or dried varieties, can work well to make your cornbread more aromatic and add depth to it. Dill, parsley, basil, chives, thyme, oregano, and rosemary are all good picks here.

Another way to step up the meal is to throw in some cheese. You can use a Monterey Jack cheese, which has a mild and creamy taste. Or go for a tangy feta cheese that works well against the acidity of the tomatoes. You could also go for a nutty cheese, such as Gouda or gruyère. Play around with different varieties to come up with a flavor combo you love.

Finally, besides cheese, you can enhance this meal by giving it a bit of a kick. Stirring in some chopped jalapeños to the batter or adding a dash of cayenne pepper are a few good ways to get the spice going. Next time you go to make some cornbread, try adding tomatoes and pairing them with one of these additions for a truly delectable dish.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.