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Corn Cakes with Fresh Tomatoes and Fried Sage

Corn Cakes with Fresh Tomatoes and Fried Sage

An appetizer bursting with fresh summer flavors. Pair with a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword corn cakes
Servings 24 corn cakes
Author adapted from "Dinner Changing the Game," by Melissa Clark


  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears of corn)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, +
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • extra-virgin olive oil for fryin

For the tomato topping

  • 24 + small fresh sage leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 lb. tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch diced pieces
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh goat cheese crumbles, for serving (optional)


  • In a food processor pulse the corn kernals to a rough puree. Add the egg and buttermilk and pulse again to mix. Add the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and pulse until just mixed to a smooth batter. Stir in 4 tablespoons of the melted butter. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
  • In a 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat, add a thin film of extra virgin olive oil. When the pan is hot add a scant 1/4 cup of the batter to the pan per corn cake. Cook in batches for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Transfer the cooked corn cakes to a sheet pan covered with foil. Add more oil to the pan as needed and continue to cook the cakes until all the batter is used.

For the Tomato topping

  • Wipe the sauté pan out if needed and add one tablespoon of butter. Add the sage leaves and fry until the leaves are crisp about 2 minutes. Transfer gently to a plate lined with a paper towel.
  • Add one tablespoon of butter to the pan and sauté the smashed garlic for about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and thinly slice the garlic lengthwise.
  • In a bowl add the diced tomatoes and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Arrange the corn cakes on a serving platter and divide the tomato mixture topping each corn cake. Garnish each corn cake with a sage leaf and crumbled goat cheese(optional).