Serve these mini cornmeal cakes with heirloom tomato relish as an appetizer or a main meal, and you will feel like you’re eating a little bit of summer in every bite.
mini cornmeal cakes with heirloom tomato relish

Apparently the sun starts going down before 8pm these days, which, for the record, NO ONE CONSULTED ME ON.

I would have vetoed.

Big time.

And so it is that blue-tinged, uncharacteristically blurry photos happen to good people recipes, despite my best efforts to white balance and shoot totally sharp and in focus pictures at high exposures without a tripod.



Under normal circumstances, this recipe with these photos would have never made it to the site in this incarnation, but time is running out, you guys.

Both for heirloom tomatoes and for my cooking equipment, which the.boy keeps threatening to pack every five seconds, occasionally while I’m using it.

Then again, he also insisted that we did not need to wrap bottles of liquor or Mason jars in bubble wrap because the movers would be “careful with our things”. So who can trust a single thing he says?


In other news, I’m currently interviewing candidates for the position of head packer extraordinaire of the Eats Well With Others kitchen, because the one I thought I had is clearly not up to the task.

Any takers?

What if I sweeten the deal with a batch of these cornmeal cakes and my eternal love and affection?


They are basically every part of summer that you wish you could encapsulate and eat year round. Fresh tomatoes are tossed with basil, olive oil and just a hint of salt while fluffy cornmeal silver dollar pancakes are the resident relish scooper uppers.

A tad bit messy, but worth it. You’ll just lick up that juice running down your arm like it ain’t no thang.

Now if only we could get the sun to stay up past it’s bedtime and our apartments to pack themselves while we sleep, we’d be in a good way. Wishful thinking.

Mini Cornmeal Cakes with Heirloom Tomato Relish
Serve these mini cornmeal cakes with heirloom tomato relish as an appetizer or a main meal, and you will feel like you're eating a little bit of summer in every bite.
Yield: 32 pancakes
For the relish
  • 2 lb small heirloom tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the pancakes
  • 7 oz all purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 large eggs
  • cooking spray
  1. To make the relish, combine the tomatoes, basil, olive oil, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Set aside while you prepare the pancakes.
  2. For the pancakes, in a large bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and black pepper.
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs. Stir into the dry ingredients until just combined.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with a layer of cooking spray or vegetable oil. Drop the batter onto the skillet by the tablespoon and then cook until bubbles start to form on their surface. Flip and cook for another minute or so, until cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter.
  5. Top each pancake with tomato relish and serve.
Adapted from Cooking Light
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 pancakes as an appetizer, or 6 as a main meal

Handheld foods are fun! For more plate-free recipe ideas, check out these:

caramelized onion, spinach, roasted red pepper and ricotta salata crostini

Caramelized Onion, Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Ricotta Salata Crostini

broccoli cheese mini quiches

Broccoli Cheese Mini Quiches

goat cheese, black pepper, and honey popovers from Eats Well With Others

Goat Cheese, Black Pepper, and Honey Popovers

From Around the Web:

Roasted Strawberry Crostini with Basil and Goat Cheese from Confections of a Foodie Bride

Baked Mozzarella Sticks from Diethood

Parmesan Cauliflower Bites from Damn Delicious

Jalapeno Popper and Corn Puff Pastry Swirls from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

Seeded Popovers from 101 Cookbooks


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59 Responses to Mini Cornmeal Cakes with Heirloom Tomato Relish

  1. Sune Moolman says:

    These look so tasty!
    Good luck with the packing – imagine baking in a new kitchen… it might just be the inspiration needed for the immediate task.

  2. I’m eating as many heirloom tomatoes as possible before they are gone… they are the one veggie I am loving lately! And I can’t help pack but I can help eat:-)

  3. Beth says:

    I can’t believe, with everything you’ve got going on this week, that you’re posting anything at all! And for the record, if I lived in New York I would totally do your packing in exchange for food.

  4. Your pictures look wonderful to me! Good luck w/ the packing… The hubs and I are doing the same thing this week! Not so fun…

  5. I will definitely take the sun going down early!! Then this baby will go to sleep! And we definitely got a boat load of heirloom tomatoes this weekend before they were gone so I am definitely going to whip this up!

  6. Monica says:

    I totally want this right now. Love those cornmeal cakes and heirloom tomatoes on any/every..thing, please!

  7. Sues says:

    I am getting seriously depressed by the idea of the sun being long down when I leave work in the evening… But for now, I will attempt to make myself feel better with plenty of corn and tomatoes. Oh, and also the 90 degree weather! This dish looks beautiful 🙂

  8. Anne says:

    Yum, this looks awesome. It reminds me of a fun twist on Brushetta. Also, your comment on the sun–I agree. Why is it setting so early now? not cool.

  9. These mini cornmeal cakes look delicious! Love the tomato relish, so tasty!

  10. The sun going down early is the worst!! But these cornmeal cakes still look amazing!!

  11. SallyBR says:

    Love this recipe! Just love it…

    you don’t want to get me started on the end of Summer. You have NO IDEA how rotten my mood gets as the temperature drops. On a side note, Phil and I signed up for a 10.6 mile run in April – Big Sur Marathon (marathon is already full, but there are still openings for the 10.6 miler – just thought maybe you and TheBoy could consider a second honeymoon in the Bay Area)

  12. I’m in complete denial that the sun is setting earlier these days. It’s like the apocalypse comes each year to food bloggers everywhere. I’m depressed.

  13. I bought my ticket Joanne – I will be at the airport this afternoon – seeing I am (or can be) a packer extraordinaire (specially when bribes of “cornmeal cakes and heirloom tomato relish” are on the table – literally)!
    Good luck packing – please keep The.Boy away from ALL mason jars and all other EatsWellWithOthers paraphernalia! 🙂

  14. Don’t be hard on yourself, they still look great and those tomoatoes are soooo ripe! YUM!

  15. That relish sounds divine. I wish for you fairy packers to come tonight and do their thing 🙂

  16. oh my gawd, I hear you on the sun. . we are at the mercy of the weather and the sun! this was a very hard thing for me to learn once I moved to Seattle. . and just as I got into my groove, we moved to Madison! Anyway, your photos are fine and great! I use Lightroom when I need to brighten things up a bit. . anyway, dude, this recipe could not have come at a better time! We just picked a butt-load of tomatoes from our garden! Pinned!!

  17. Zainab says:

    So not a fan of the sum being gone these days soon after lab booo!! And these pictures look great chica!! Want these little cakes NOW!

  18. The same thing happened to me the other day with sunset time and clicking snaps. Just catastrophic… ^.^ But I think the beauty of your cornmeal cakes is still coming through. I am at least craving for them right now. =)

  19. I’ve noticed the same thing. That darn sun sinking behind the mountains before it should be. Doesn’t it seem way too early in the year for that change?! I’m finding everything needs to be timed perfectly to get decent photos.
    I love these little corn cakes with tomatoes. They look heavenly!

  20. Sarah says:

    I think you’ve convinced me I need to try heirloom tomatoes – they look so good! Good luck with packing ~ bubble wrap is the BEST and of course you need it for mason jars 🙂

  21. Trisha says:

    I intend on consuming as many summer tomatoes as I can in the next few weeks, and these adorable little mini corn cakes look like the perfect vehicle for that. I love long summer days and am dreading the disappearing daylight. It makes picture-planning that much more difficult! These photos are still lovely though!

  22. i’m loving the sound of these cornmeal cakes! though i’m excited for fall too, the end of summer is always sad. i have a few summery recipes i wanna share on my blog before the summer ends too 🙂

  23. Haha, I’ve been having the same problems with my food photography! These cornmeal cakes are still quite beautiful though! And, I’ll totally be the packer for your kitchen!

  24. They look scrumptious! I love esp. the heirloom tomato relish!

  25. Katie Zeller says:

    You send the tomato relish and, after I eat it, I’ll send packing instructions (you didn’t expect me to actually do the work, did you? You did? Send the relish and we’ll talk)
    Love the caked, too.

  26. elly says:

    These look amazing, and I’m glad you posted them. Your pics are still great! I’ve been struggling, big time. I’ve never considered my pics wonderful, but I swear every time I make something new, it’s raining, or I’m out of memory on my camera, or one of a million other things. Blogging is tough stuff, yo. 🙂

  27. Christine says:

    I bet these tasted heavenly. Heirlooms…so good, but the season is too short IMO! I’m thinking a thin slice of mozzarella between the relish and corn patty would also be wonderful.

  28. Lynn says:

    That looks like a bite of summer!

  29. I would totally help you pack and move if these corn cakes for waiting for me at the end of it. Hell, I’ll clean your freaking toilets.

  30. Pam says:

    As much as I love extra daylight – I am so over the summer. Bring on the fall!!

    I think these little corn cakes & relish look delish! They would even tempt me into helping you pack and I HATE packing!

  31. Eileen says:

    You have to love a good pancake with things on top for dinner. I actually did something like this with our backyard plums awhile ago! I love the idea of mixing it up with fresh tomato. 🙂

  32. alyssa says:

    I know – I also feel the “use all of the tomatoes in everything pressure” why is tomato season so short!?

  33. Megan says:

    Ooh. I love this idea! And I am still picking more tomatoes every day. Now I have something new to make with them!

  34. Hotly Spiced says:

    I’m so sorry I can’t help you pack! When we last moved the removalists stole a lot of our things. I hope the NY removalists are a lot more honest. Love the cornmeal cakes and I’m so visually impaired I couldn’t tell the images are not quite in focus xx

  35. Well firstly, these photos = gorgeous, and secondly, these cakes = so much summer perfection. Pretty sure I’d lose all self-control around them!

  36. Joyti says:

    Haha, I shot early in the morning or very late in the afternoon JUST so I can get that blue-purple-tinged softness in my photographs. I love it.

    BUT ANYWAYS, these tomato-relished corncakes look and sound delicious!

  37. Johanna GGG says:

    I am loving the days getting longer though the sun is never about at dinner time – 🙁 not long now though 🙂 hey there are probably a few flats in Melbourne if you really do want some long hours of sunlight 🙂 Meanwhile you will just have to console yourself with those cute little pancakes – am sure finger food is good for you now so you can pack and eat all at once

  38. Isadora says:

    Haha, sorry, I think i will have to pass, packing is one of my least favorite things to do! That is the one drawback of the season changing, no more food photo shoots into the late hours 🙁 I’m glad you posted these photos anyway though because these cornmeal cakes look amazing! I need to go find some heirloom tomatoes now!

  39. i don’t like the shorter days either. I like this recipe. the cornmeal cakes and tomatoes sound great together.

  40. cheri says:

    Just noticed that the days are getting shorter myself, great summer dish!

  41. I can’t get enough heirloom tomatoes! I had an amazing heirloom tomato panzanella the other day and I wish I could eat it every day. The cornmeal cakes look like a nice sub for regular crostini or grilled bread, too.

  42. Katerina says:

    I think what sun did to you was totally unfair! As for packing a small piece of advise; trust no one! Whatever is valuable to you make sure it is very thoroughly packed. Salad looks terrific even in blues!

  43. Just as our days are getting longer, but I can relate to your feelings my friend!
    Beautiful little cornmeal cakes, they look perfect for a study snack 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  44. Ah moving is never fun. But there is something exciting about it. Getting a chance to start over. Love everything about these corn cakes. A perfect end of summer app!

  45. Julia says:

    Best idea for an appetizer ever! I love cornmeal pancakes and those tomatoes look so fresh and amazing. This is definitely food foreplay I can get on top of 😉

  46. These pancakes look gorgeous. . Love the tomato relish.. 🙂

  47. Love this tomato relish! I think a trip to the grocery store is in order!

  48. heirloom tomatoes are the best..try eating them with feta..i couldnt stop. Also those popovers you shared at the end looks so goood.

  49. Aggie says:

    yuuum!! I can snack on a huge plate of these!

  50. It says something about the quality of your regular photography that these images are still absolutely, 100% fine – lovely! – despite your reservations. I also love the idea of this dish.

  51. I don’t care what you say…these look scrumptious! Summer personified. Wait, that doesn’t work. How ’bout the embodiment of summer. Yes, that’s what I meant. I would even do one of my least favorite tasks (yes, packing) for a meal of these.

  52. see now this is a very good use for heirlooms.
    I love seeing creativity!!

  53. Kelly says:

    These mini cornmeal cakes are so adorable! Love all the heirloom tomatoes – totally screams summer 🙂 Yikes, not ready for the sun to start setting so soon either – will definitely miss the longer and brighter days 🙁

  54. Well this is really up my alley. Those tomatoes are nothing but gorgeous. I think I could eat the entire bowl of tomato mixture all by myself 🙂 What a great way to serve them!

  55. Shannon says:

    these definitely sound delicious, but I recruited my mom to help so you probably don’t want me packing up your kitchen 😉

  56. preeti says:

    Wow! I have never tasted cornmeal pancakes!!! Bookmarked! Yes, I would have vetoed as well if some one consulted me on sunsets before 8 PM 😛

  57. Oh my goodness I need to make this asap! This is my kind of recipe!!

  58. The light in my house is awful, and I haaaaate using a tripod (it stifles my creativity, man!) so I totally feel your pain. This looks like the perfect way to end summer. Delicious!

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