Cook the Book: Tomato Cobbler

Cook the Book: Tomato Cobbler

[Photograph: Lisa Fain]

Baking just about anything in a cast iron skillet is bound to be pretty great and this Tomato Cobbler from Lisa Fain's The Homesick Texan Cookbook is no exception. Taking inspiration from those great summer fruit cobblers, Fain wondered why she couldn't apply the same technique to a savory side—and so this fantastic summer cobbler was born.

In layman's terms, this is really just a skillet-ful of cornbread batter dotted with a quick, spicy salsa fresca made of blanched tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, and jalapeño. Baked together in a cast iron skillet, the batter bubbles up while the tomatoes sink down, making a lovely golden skillet full of custardy, corny, tomato-y goodness. You could serve this a lovely late summer side but it's the kind of dish that's good enough to deserve the spotlight accompanied by a simply dressed salad.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Homesick Texan Cookbook to give away this week.

From The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain. Text and photographs copyright © 2011 Lisa Fain. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved

  • Yield:6 to 8
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Total time:30 minutes


  • 1 pound tomatoes, peeled, cored, and diced, or 2 cups canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 jalapeño chile, seeds and stems removed, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk


  1. 1.

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. 2.

    Toss together the diced tomatoes, diced jalapeño, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and lime juice. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

  3. 3.

    In a large ovenproof skillet, preferably cast-iron, melt the butter on low heat. Once melted, remove from heat.

  4. 4.

    In a bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add the milk and stir until a thick, smooth batter forms. Pour the batter over the melted butter in the skillet. Do not stir. Spoon the tomato mixture on top of the batter. Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.