I had never enjoyed polenta until my parents served this recipe over Christmas. The simplicity of the ingredients perfectly complements each other without over powering any one component. It is now one of my favourite dishes.
Polenta is cooked corn-meal, a naturally gluten-free alternative to pasta or rice that is often found in Italian cooking. For this recipe I use the pre-cooked polenta that can be found in a tube. Look for it at your local grocer (I found it at Safeway) or specialty Italian grocers. The pre-cooked tube makes it so much easier and forms the perfect shape – it is definitely the way to go!
1 tube of cooked polenta (see note above)
1/4 cup crème fraiche or Greek yogurt
1/2 cup chevre
8 campari tomatoes*
4 tbs canola oil
Balsamic crema to drizzle on top
1 bunch of basil, sliced in a chiffonade** (optional)
*Campari tomatoes are the perfect size for this, however if you cannot find them use cherry tomatoes and place two on each polenta slice.
**To create a chiffonade roll the basil leaves together and slice widthwise into small ribbons.
Preheat oven to 300F.
Place tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Roast in oven until tomatoes just start to burst and caramelize, about 50 mins. Tomatoes can be cooked and kept in the fridge for up to a week ahead.
Meanwhile, preheat a skillet with 1 tbs oil over medium-high heat. Slice the polenta crosswise to create eight 1/4 inch rounds. Fry polenta rounds in skillet until golden brown on bottom side, about 3-4 minutes. Once browned, flip polenta and brown on other side for an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove polenta from the heat and set aside.
In a small bowl combine the chevre and crème fraiche. To assemble, start by placing one polenta round on a the plate. Layer with about 2 tbs of chevre mixture and top with a roasted tomato. Drizzle with balsamic crema and sprinkle with basil.
Recipe inspired by Gordon Ramsey