Holly B’s Pesto Parmesan Cornbread

February 10, 2010


So what do you serve with chili?  Kind of silly, right?  Kind of like asking, “What do you serve with peanut butter on bread?”  In case you are not catching my drift – cornbread is what you serve with chili.  Oh and beer.  Duh.

The question becomes, which cornbread?  I already have two favorites but I thought it was time to try a third recipe.  If you want very full-flavored cornbread with lots going on, I can whole-heartedly recommend Ina’s version.  It is the one to make for a crowd since you will end up with a ton of it.  But if your appetite is more on the delicate side, I wouldn’t use that recipe.  It’s a meal in and of itself.

I thought I would try Holly B’s recipe and jazz it up by doing the Pesto Parmesan option listed in the book.  The nice thing is that the pesto stays in a small area so I could taste the bread on its own as well to truly asses where it stands in my cornbread book.  The verdict?  Very delicate and cakey.  So much so that as Randy went to take a bite, it basically crumbled right into his chili, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I liked baking it in a pie dish and that each wedge had a little dollop of pesto at its end.  I also liked the Parmesan sprinkled over top.  Maybe I’ll try that with my other favorite version which comes from The Joy of Cooking.  Recipe coming some time soon.


One Year Ago: Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Holly’s Favorite Corn Bread
With Love & Butter
Makes 8 wedges

¾ cup stone ground cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. honey
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
8 tsp. pesto
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375°F with the rack in the middle of the oven.  Butter a 9- to 10-inch glass pie plate.

Place all the ingredients except the pesto and cheese in a medium bowl and mix, by machine or by hand, until just combined.  Scrape down the bowl once or twice.  Smooth the batter into the pie dish.  Evenly blob 8 teaspoons of pesto around the edge of the batter, so that each wedge of cornbread will show a bit of green at the base.  Scatter the whole dish with the Parmesan.  Bake 15 minutes, rotate the dish, and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more or until the top is light brown and a toothpick comes out easily.  Cut into 8 wedges and serve.


  1. I really love cornbread. And pesto. But would never have thought to put them together. Ingenius idea, really. Love the dollops at the end.

    Comment by Joanne — February 11, 2010 @ 1:08 am

  2. Gorgeous, looks like cheese cake.
    I am sold.
    This Holly B thing is a good deal. I love everything you are making from this book.

    Comment by Stacey Snacks — February 11, 2010 @ 3:04 am

  3. Oh what a great idea! I am curious what that tastes like.

    Comment by Sook @ My Fabulous Recipes — February 11, 2010 @ 7:00 am

  4. Update: that chili was so good! Made it last night with some corn bread and baked sweet potatoes. Finished it up for lunch this afternoon! The chipotle pepper in adobo was the perfect addition to getting that smoking chili flavor. I’ll definitely be making this again!

    Comment by Jacqui — February 11, 2010 @ 8:36 pm

  5. The pesto dot looks so great! And, the parmesan sounds delicious with cornbread. I like the idea of choosing the right cornbread for the occasion, and I’m sure they’re all fantastic.

    Comment by lisaiscooking — February 11, 2010 @ 10:59 pm

  6. We just finished dinner and this cornbread recipe is a keeper. It was simply delicious. I didn”t have pesto, so, had to leave it out, but it still was wonderful. We ended up eating it with forks, though the last wedge I sliced yet again and it held up well in my hands. The parmesan grated on top was the crowning glory, Dana.

    Once again, thank you for a great recipe.

    Comment by Penny — February 13, 2010 @ 1:25 am

  7. Pesto and parmesan-double deliciousness!

    Comment by Maria — February 13, 2010 @ 11:56 pm

  8. Can’t go wrong with cornbread…especially if it’s this one!

    Comment by The Leftoverist — February 14, 2010 @ 4:47 am

  9. Love the parmesan cheese here! Looks like my kind of cornbread with the savory aspect.

    Comment by fresh365 — February 15, 2010 @ 3:08 pm

  10. seriously… whoever thought of pesto and cornbread should be awarded a medal. I love cornbread but sometimes it can be too dry… but the addition of pesto could easily fix that!

    Comment by Gaby — February 15, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

  11. Mmm love a good cornbread! I love the bits of pesto around the edge in this one.

    Comment by Ashley — February 23, 2010 @ 5:34 am

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