Southern spoonbread with garlic greens and smoked ham

American Medical Association Family Health Cookbook
Pocket Books
Final product

About the recipe

This hearty dish makes the most of whatever seasonal greens you have on hand. Smoked ham and a fluffy topping of spoonbread round out this all-in-one meal. 

Serves: 4

Hands On Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes


1 pound young collard, mustard, turnip greens or Swiss chard; or 1 (10-ounce) package frozen greens, thawed and drained

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup (2 ounces) diced lean smoked ham

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup white or yellow cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup low-fat or nonfat buttermilk

4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

2 whole eggs, separated

2 egg whites


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 2-quart souffle dish with vegetable oil spray.

If using fresh greens, wash them well. Discard tough stems. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the greens until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain thoroughly, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Coarsely chop the greens.

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the ham, garlic and greens and cook over medium heat until the garlic softens, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and spread the mixture in the bottom of the prepared dish.

In a heavy medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal and add the salt. Cook over medium heat, whisking almost constantly, until the mixture is very thick, begins to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the buttermilk, cheese, hot pepper sauce and egg yolks.

Using an electric mixer, beat 4 egg whites until stiff but not dry. Stir 1/3 of the whites into the cornmeal mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whites.

Spoon the batter over the greens and bake until puffed and lightly browned on top, 45 to 50 minutes. The spoon bread should be soft in the center and crusty around the edges. Serve immediately.