Basil-and-Corn Cornmeal Waffles

These loaded cornmeal waffles are your next brunch showstopper, balancing savory, salty, and sweet flavors all in one dish. Fresh corn kernels and honey lend their sweetness to the waffles, while cornmeal gives them a pleasant bite. Basil and chives are then blended into both the waffle batter and the silky crème fraîche topping, which gets piled on each waffle along with rich, salty smoked salmon and perfectly cooked poached eggs. A sprinkle of chives adds a final pop of brightness.

Basil and Cornmeal Waffles
Photo: Photo by Jen Causey / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Christina Daley
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
55 mins


  • 1 ¼ cups (about 6 1/4 ounces) medium-grind cornmeal

  • 1 ¼ cups (about 5 3/8 ounces) all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, plus more for garnish

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 cups whole buttermilk

  • 14 large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon honey, divided

  • 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears)

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, divided

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, divided, plus more for garnish

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons crème fraîche (such as Vermont Creamery)

  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), divided

  • 6 ounces smoked wild salmon (from 2 [4-ounce] packages)


  1. Line a baking sheet with an oven-safe wire rack. Place prepared baking sheet in oven, and preheat oven to 200°F. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, pepper, baking soda, and 1 1/4 teaspoons of the salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

  2. Whisk together buttermilk, 2 of the eggs, and 2 tablespoons of the honey in a medium bowl. Add buttermilk mixture to cornmeal mixture, and stir until just combined. Stir in cooled butter until combined. Fold in corn and 1 tablespoon each of the basil and chives. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, preheat a round 8 1/2-inch waffle iron to medium heat according to manufacturer directions. Whisk together crème fraîche, whipping cream, 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon honey, and 1 tablespoon each basil and chives in a medium bowl. Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to use.

  4. Pour about 3/4 cup waffle batter into preheated waffle iron. Cook waffles according to manufacturer directions, about 4 minutes. Remove waffle from iron; transfer to prepared baking sheet in preheated oven to keep warm. Repeat process with remaining batter to make 6 waffles total.

  5. While waffles cook, fill a large, deep skillet with water to a depth of about 1 1/2 inches; add remaining 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and bring to a simmer over medium. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl, and gently slip into simmering water; quickly repeat process with 5 additional eggs. Cook eggs over medium, adjusting heat as needed to maintain a simmer, until whites are set and yolks are still runny, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove poached eggs, and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat cooking process with remaining 6 eggs.

  6. Top each waffle with 2 poached eggs. Divide salmon and crème fraîche mixture evenly among waffles. Garnish waffles with additional pepper and chives.

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