Saturday, February 23, 2013

Polenta Squares with Roasted Tomato & White Bean Bruschetta

The perfect recipe for entertaining.  Not only can you make it ahead of time, but it's actually better if you do!  Serve as a first course, side dish or double the beans for a meatless main dish.

 photography by Paul Gelsobello Studio

olive oil
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 large tomatoes, diced (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup small white beans
1/3 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Lightly oil a 9 x 9 inch baking dish. 

Polenta: In a large saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle boil and slowly whisk in cornmeal. Cook and stir with wire whisk for 5 minutes or until polenta is thickened and pulls away cleanly from the sides of the pan. Stir in cheese. Pour into prepared pan.   Cool and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 450˚F.  Flip polenta out of dish and cut into 9 squares.  Lightly oil baking sheet.  Arrange polenta squares on baking sheet and bake 15 minutes or until hot and lightly browned. 

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Lightly oil baking pan. Spread chopped tomatoes evenly on baking pan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 30 to 40 minutes or until tomatoes are very soft and beginning to brown.
Combine tomatoes with beans, onion, garlic, basil and vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made one day ahead.


To serve, spoon bruschetta over polenta squares.

Tip:  Buy prepared polenta logs, slice into circles and bake as above.  Serve bruschetta over polenta circles.

food stylist - Catherine Paukner
food stylist assistant - Lauren Dellabella
prop stylist - Heather Bean

recipe developed for Baker's Joy