This can be served either as a side dish or as a bread.  If I serve it as a bread, I usually leave off the top garnishes & cut it into squares to serve.

2 mild onions; one medium & one small
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 small to medium fresh tomatoes, peeled & chopped
2 cups self-rising cornmeal
1 cup buttermilk
2 T. canola or vegetable oil
Salt, may be needed
2 large eggs, well beaten
Paprika (optional garnish)
Fresh parsley (optional garnish)
Small mild pepper (optional garnish)



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If making cornbread & not a side dish, only use the medium onion.  Peel onions.  Chop the medium onion & thinly slice the small onion, if using for garnish on the side dish.  In a large skillet, heat the olive oil to medium-high & saute the chopped onion until translucent; do not brown.  Add the chopped tomato with its juice & seeds, & saute until just soft.  In a bowl mix together the corn meal, buttermilk, & canola oil; blend well.  Add the tomato/onion mixture & mix.  Taste for salt, & add, if needed.  Stir the already beaten eggs into the mixture until completely blended.  Prepare a 2-quart baking dish with spray-oil; then pour the mixture into the baking dish. If desired, sprinkle the top with paprika; then place a few onion rings, pepper rings, & parsley sprigs around the top for garnish.  Place the baking dish in the preheated oven & bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until browned & set.

This recipe pairs perfectly with pork or chicken.  It vaguely reminds me of a polenta dish served with juicy, slow roasted pork somewhere in the Aosta Valley of Italy when we were driving toward The Gran Paradiso mountains & national park.  Can’t remember the name of the small city, but we dined outside on a cobblestone walking-street surrounded by magnificent stone buildings & statuary.  Earlier that day we had visited several castles; some had been restored & had tours, & some were just tumbling down.  The next day driving toward the park was like driving into heaven!  Huge, snow-covered mountains with lush green valleys & gushing waterfalls.  Found a small, Swiss-like inn to stay in for a couple of days while hiking in the mountains.  Our room had a view of the highest peak in the entire mountain range!  All the windows in the room had wooden shutters that swung out & latched to stay open.  Needless to say, we never closed them.  The only animals to look in were big-horn sheep & mountain goats!  The inn was not open in the winter because it had NO heat.  We were there in the late spring & our bed was piled high with down comforters.  If we got up during the night to close the shutters, we didn’t tarry; it was a mad dash back under the comforters!  


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