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When Hanger Strikes

  • Writer's pictureMari

Spicy Harissa Cornbread

Updated: Feb 27, 2022

Cornbread so bold it went from side dish to main dish. You don’t need any accompaniments with this one (except for the leftover harissa oil to dip of course), it shines brightly all on its own. Harissa olive oil based cornbread (you won’t miss the butter, trruuust) topped with harissa poached tomatoes (sun dried tomato wannabes), olives and feta cheese. Thanks to a few healthy doses of harissa oil, this cornbread is the kind of spicy that creeps up on you.

Makes 1 large cornbread, 8 slices


For the Bread

  • 3/4 cups harissa flavoured olive oil

  • 15 cherry tomatoes

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 tsp anchovy paste/ 4 anchovy fillets

  • 2 tbs cane sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 1/4 cup milk

  • 1 1/2 cup cornmeal

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups corn/ 2 ears of corn

  • 8 green or black olives, sliced or left whole

  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

For the Dip

  • 2 tbs chives

  • 1 tbs cilantro

  • 1 tbs lemon juice

  • 1 tbs white vinegar

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and anchovies to a small sauce pan, and pour the harissa olive oil over top. Turn the heat on to medium and bring oil up to a rapid simmer, then reduce heat to low and poach for 10 minutes, until the skins burst, then remove from heat. Once cool enough to handle, remove the garlic and finely mince it. Set aside. Remove tomatoes into a separate bowl and set aside.

  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the reserved garlic, milk, eggs, sugar, and 1/2 cup of the harissa olive oil used to poach the tomatoes. Whisk vigorously until well combined and set aside.

  3. In a separate larger mixing bowl, add the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and soda, salt, and pepper. Whisk lightly until cornmeal and flour are fully combined. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until fully combined. Fold the corn in with a spatula.

  4. Heat a large skillet pan over medium low and add 2 tbs of the harissa poaching oil. Once ripples start forming, add the batter to the pan and spread out evenly. Spoon the tomatoes and olives on top of the cornbread, pushing in a little. Sprinkle with feta cheese and bake for 20 minutes until golden.

  5. While the cornbread is in the oven, combine all of the ingredients for the dip with the remaining harissa poaching oil. Whisk vigorously until fully combined. Serve on the side of the cornbread for dipping, or drizzle it over your slice.


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