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Slices of polenta are topped with a deliciously seasoned mixture of diced tomatoes, olives and cucumber, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and grilled until golden and delicious!
3 people made this
- 450g ready made polenta, cut into 1cm thick slices
- 4 plum tomatoes, seeded, diced
- 125g cucumber, seeded, diced
- 280g ripe olives, drained and sliced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 40g grated Parmesan cheese
MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:3min ›Ready in:23min
- Preheat oven grill. Grease a large baking dish or roasting tin. Line the prepared dish with polenta slices; set aside.
- Combine diced tomatoes, cucumber and olives in a large bowl. Add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, oregano, basil and salt and pepper to taste; mix. Spoon this topping over the polenta slices, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Grill until the polenta is hot and the cheese is lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'Parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(9)
Reviews in English (8)
A simple and fast recipe with loads of yummy ingredients, but the end result was a little lackluster. The flavors weren't popping and I disliked the texture of the polenta - if I made this again, I'd sear the polenta a bit on each side to cut the mushy-ness of the end result. I added a little jalapeno for a kick too, that helped.-21 Jul 2008
by Angie Fuller
Interesting combination but very good. Very Greek-inspired dish. We didn't have fresh tomatoes so used canned and it was still very good.-23 Apr 2012
Polenta with Tomatoes and Olives
Reduce the heat to low and add the grain as though you were making porridge: let the polenta trickle slowly through your fingers and stir the contents of the pan very vigorously all the time to prevent lumps forming.
Cook over the gentlest possible heat for about 20 minutes, stirring more or less continuously - like porridge and semolina, polenta is a great sticker.
The mixture is ready when it begins to come away from the sides of the pan, is perfectly smooth and so thick that your wrist aches from stirring.
Away from the heat beat in 1 tablespoon oil, the stoned olives if using them, and some salt and pepper.
Use the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to grease the interior of an 11 to 12 inch frying pan.
Turn the polenta into the frying pan, pack it down smoothly and level the top with an oiled spoon.
Set aside for a couple of hours until the polenta is cold and solid.
Loosen it with a palette knife, turn it out of the pan and cut into 6 -8 wedges.
To make the sauce, chop the onion finely and sweat it in the oil for 10 to 12 minutes.
Add the roughly chopped tomatoes and their juices, several cloves of finely chopped garlic and a little bouquet of rosemary, bay and thyme, or plenty of well-flavoured herbs of your choice.
Let the mixture bubble away gently for 40 minutes or so, just stirring occasionally, until reduced to a rich and fragrant sauce.
Remove the bouquet of herbs, season with salt and pepper and add extra fresh chopped herbs to taste.
Fry the wedges of polenta in very hot olive oil or unsalted butter, or a mixture of the two, for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until lightly crusted and heated right through.
Serve piping hot with the garlicky tomato sauce, and with a bowl of olives or grated Parmesan if you wish.
In the Veneto polenta sometimes accompanies small silvery fried fish, or a dish of Fergato alla Veneziana.
Quail or other tiny game birds threaded on to skewers and cooked on a spit, or a sauté of chicken livers, and grilled sausages, are other good choices but polenta can be served on its own just as well.
- 1 14-ounce can peeled Italian plum tomatoes
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 cups polenta (coarse cornmeal)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 4 portobello mushrooms (about 1/4 pound each) or 1 pound white mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for sauteing polenta
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup black oil-cured olives, pitted
- Unsalted butter
Puree tomatoes with their juice strain. Place liquid in a large saucepan with the water, bring to a boil, and add salt. Slowly sprinkle in polenta, whisking constantly.
When all the polenta has been added, turn heat down to low and cook, stirring very frequently, for 30 minutes. Stir in pepper and Parmesan.
Pour into an ungreased 9-by-13-inch pan and smooth with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool. Refrigerate until cold and firm, at least 2 hours.
Turn polenta out onto a board. Cut into 2-inch squares. Cut each square in half to form 2 triangles. Set aside.
Cut mushroom into 1/2-inch dice. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and garlic, cook until lightly browned. Add mushrooms. Keep warm, or reheat when ready to use.
Puree olives with remaining tablespoon of oil and stir into mushrooms. Keep warm, or reheat when ready to use.
Heat a large saute pan and add a scant teaspoon each of oil and butter. Saute polenta triangles for about 2 minutes on each side and briefly on the edges. Add more oil and butter for each batch. Serve hot with a heaping teaspoon of the mushroom mixture on each triangle.
Polenta is a versatile ingredient that hails from Northern Italy. This coarsely ground cornmeal can be boiled and served as a hot, savory porridge or cooled and shaped into loaves—which can then be baked, fried or grilled depending on your preference. Tilapia tastes great with most starches and grains, and polenta is no exception. Plus, it’s great for soaking up the extra sauce on your plate.
Try the recipe: Tilapia with Creamy Polenta from The Healthy Fish.
Shrimp in Tomato-Olive-Caper Sauce with Polenta
Polenta makes a hearty gluten-free base for this rustic Italian meal. Get the polenta started first, and then simmer the shrimp while it cooks. If you can find Marzano canned tomatoes, they will add a bold flavor and supple texture to the dish.
Shrimp in Tomato-Olive-Caper Sauce with Polenta
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) medium-grind cornmeal
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2/3 cup (5 fl. oz./160 ml) dry white wine
1 can (14 oz./440 g) plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
10 to 12 oz. (315 to 390 g) jumbo shrimp, (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined, tails intact
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup (1 1/4 oz./40 g) Kalamata olives, pitted and quartered lengthwise
To make the polenta, in a heavy saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz./625 ml) water, the oil, salt and pepper to a boil over high heat. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly, stirring frequently, until the polenta is thick, about 18 minutes
While the polenta is cooking, in a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and red pepper flakes and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil until it is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle the shrimp lightly with salt and black pepper. Add to the fry pan, turn to coat with the sauce, cover and simmer until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes. Mix in the olives, capers and thyme and simmer until the shrimp are cooked through, about 30 seconds. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
When the polenta is done, stir in the thyme. Divide the polenta between 2 warmed plates, spreading it out in a circle. Spoon the shrimp and sauce over the top and serve immediately. Serves 2.
/>Find more quick, gluten-free dinner recipes in our book Weeknight Gluten Free , by Kristine Kidd.
Creamy melted cheese brings sweet corn and spicy jalapeño together with a nice pop of brightness from lime juice and cilantro in this easy dip inspired by classic Mexican street corn. This creamy and satisfying dish can be served with tortilla chips and veggies for dipping.
Gazpacho is a delicious way to eat more veggies. Think of it as a vegetable smoothie. Not only does Chef José Andrés keep a pitcher of this healthy gazpacho recipe in his refrigerator all summer, it's also served at Beefsteak, his chain of vegetable-driven restaurants.
These are very flavorful and quite impressive appetizers. They certainly catch the eyes with their bright colors. The topping of roasted peppers with added orange zest and mint provide a nice contrast to hot from the oven, crispy and spicy polenta Crostini. They are wonderful served with other Italian dishes.
For the polenta:
- 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups medium ground cornmeal
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing over polenta squares before grilling
For the pepper topping:
- 3 large red bell peppers
- 1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
- 1/3 cup chopped Manznilla olives
- Zest of 1 small orange
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1 heaped tsp of finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 heaped tsp of finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp Kosher salt or to taste
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
Make the polenta:
Line a 10吋-inch baking pan with foil, lightly oil the foil. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, pepper flakes, rosemary, pepper, and salt. Sauté for a minute, stirring. Add the chicken stock, cream, and milk and bring to a boil. Take off the heat and add the cornmeal in a slow stream stirring constantly with a whisk. Return to the stove and cook over low heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is thick and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 20-30 minutes. Take it off the heat, stir in the Parmesan. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with a wet offset spatula. Cool on a rack. Then cover and refrigerate until firm, for a couple of hours or up to overnight.
Transfer the polenta slab into a cutting board and cut into 24 squares using a sharp knife. Wipe the knife between cuts as needed.
Place an oven rack 4 inches from the heating element and preheat the broil to high.
Transfer the squares onto a large baking sheet, lined with oiled foil. Brush the top of the polenta squares with more olive oil. Grill the squares for about 3 minutes, until they develop the crust and become golden brown. Remove them from the oven and carefully (they are hot) turn on the other side. Brush again lightly with olive oil and grill for another 3 minutes.
Now they are ready to be served.
If you assemble a lot of dishes at last minute, it might be a bit stressful to grill and flip all these polenta squares right before serving, in front of your guests. And these appetizers for sure have to be served hot from the oven. I found the way to ease the last minute preparation fuss by grilling one side of the polenta squares first, then turning them over and leaving them on a baking sheet on a cooling rack for up to an hour. After your guests have arrived, grill another side for just 3-4 minutes. That’s enough time to heat them through and form a nice golden brown crust. Transfer to a serving platter.
Make the pepper topping:
Roast the bell peppers. Place an oven rack 4 inches from the grill. Preheat the broil to high. Line a baking sheet with foil. Arrange the peppers on the prepared sheet and grill, turning often until blackened and blistered on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer the peppers into a large bowl, cover with foil and let steam. It will loosen the skin from the flesh, making them easier to peel.
After the peppers have cooled, peel off the skins. Remove the ribs and seeds. Do not rinse the peppers under water, use paper towels to blot excess juices. Coarsely chop the peppers. Transfer to a medium glass bowl. Add the rest ingredients except the green onions. Stir with a fork. Adjust the seasoning to your taste. Let stand at least 30 minutes at room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator to blend the flavors. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature before serving. When ready to serve, stir three-fourth of the green onion into the peppers.
The topping is really the best when prepared a night before, the flavor is well developed and more complex.
Assemble the appetizers:
Top each square of hot grilled polenta with generous 1 tbsp of the topping. Sprinkle with the remaining green onion, and serve right away.
Recipe: Polenta Mini Pizzas with Mushrooms & Olives
Did you miss me? I certainly missed blogging here during the past few weeks! Though I had some f abulous guest bloggers help me out in the interim, it’s good to get back to work on my baby. I just have to keep reminding myself that I have to take it slowly at first.
As most of you know, I moved – rather unexpectedly – to a different apartment in my building (for those of you who really want to know all the details behind my decision, you can check out my post on my other blog ). It was one of the best moves I’ve made in a long time, and I am quite happy settling into a place that feels brighter, happier, and safer than where I was before.
The only sucky part was that I had a really strict deadline and almost zero help or preparation to get said move accomplished, so it was probably the most difficult move I’ve ever had to do. One thing’s knowing that you’re going to move and having time to pack and get rid of excess junk another is having to move all that crap with you in less than a week with no boxes or sweet friends to help you (and who can blame them, considering there was hardly any notice!).
So up & down the stairs I trudged, carrying whatever I could in my hands, making sure not to carry too much so I wouldn’t lose my balance and fall (which is something I’d probably do, I’m so darned accident-prone). Before and after work I’d do this, falling into bed exhausted at completely inexcusable hours, freaking out more & more each day as my move-out deadline approached. Gah.
And so, in a traditional form whenever stress levels get too high for me, my body shut down. Again, I won’t go into the details of what I’m dealing with, but let’s just say I’m in quite a bit of pain due to the neuralgia I’m experiencing, and have a few more weeks of recovery time before I’m back to normal. So as happy as I was to get everything moved in on time, my body decided that settling in was going to take a spot on the back burner because health was more important. I guess I can’t disagree with it I just wished it would let me know in advance before it freaks out in major ways.
The good news is that I’m on the mend and have slowly gained enough strength to get some work done around here. I’ve created a small workspace so that I can blog again, and have learned to navigate my much tinier, but way cuter new kitchen. The bad news is that I have to rein in my lofty new recipe ideas for a while, so tonight’s recipe is super simple.
But as you all know, in my world, super simple can still = super delicious.
How often do you make a chicken casserole like this?
Oh, you should! It is healthy and that grilling of the veggies, especially the pepper, the smell… ah, out of this world! I just adore the grilled or fried peppers smell and taste, the colours, I could just have that all day, every day. I am telling you this chicken casserole dish is simply divine.
Above all, it is low carbs, gluten-free and packed with veggies so can’t go wrong with such a choice.
Of course, you can choose to have it with no meat at all or swap the chicken for beef, pork lamb or even fish, for short have it with your favourite meat or completely meatless.
The polenta here must be a little dense and not too soft but this can be sometimes tricky to get right as the water amount needed really depends on how starchy the flour is and I do suggest you use a corn flour that you know and have used before. Do not worry if it gets too dense or it is too runny, you can always add some more water or cornmeal, whatever it is needed.
Cornmeal does not contain any gluten or wheat and thus should be safe for people on a celiac diet. However, cross-contamination is always a concern. Just make sure the one you have is certified gluten–free cornmeal if need be. You can also buy pre-cooked polenta that comes in a package. I do prefer the freshly made one though, it is the best.
Hot Apps: Grilled Polenta Squares with Chive Cream
Let’s hear it for Mark Bittman, food writer extraordinaire and cookbook hero to all! The latest release in his How To Cook Everything series focuses squarely on all things barbecue. From soups and salads to elegant, hearty main courses and even dessert, this is the book to pick up if you’re looking to expand your grilling repertoire.
Elegant and unexpected, these luxe little morsels will have guests singing your praises. And you’ll have time to bask in the spotlight since you made most of it before they arrived. Be sure to cook the polenta to the thickness described in the recipe otherwise it will never firm up enough for you to slice and grill it.
Polenta Squares with Dilled Sour Cream and Smoked Salmon
Substitute chopped fresh dill for the chives and smoked salmon (lox) for the salmon roe one 4-ounce package should be enough. Top the sour cream with a small piece of salmon. If your store carries smoked salmon trimmings, this is the perfect use for it.
Rosemary Polenta Squares with Orange Crème Fraîche and Olives
Replace the sour cream with crème fraîche, and the lemon with orange zest and juice. In Step 1, add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary. In Step 5, top the crème fraîche mixture with chopped pitted kalamata olives.
Polenta Squares with Dried Tomato–Basil Goat Cheese and Chorizo
Omit the sour cream, chives, and lemon. Mash 8 ounces fresh goat cheese with ¼ cup each chopped oil-packed dried tomatoes and chopped fresh basil. In Step 5, spread the mixture on each polenta square and top with a very thin slice of Spanish chorizo (alternatively, chop about 4 ounces chorizo and sprinkle it over the top).