Friday, August 24, 2007

Crispy Polenta with Mozzarella & Caramelized Cherry Tomatoes


This is an entry for Grow Your Own - a one-off event hosted by Andrea's Recipes. I'm growing my own tomatoes, and I have heaps of these tiny wonders.

I've grown really fond of crispy polenta in the past few weeks. It's not something I've cooked a lot before - Per is not a huge fan of polenta, and I've never really felt inspired to make something with it, but I loved it in theory. And then inspiration hit. I'd been eyeing - and trying - Heidi's polenta fries, and then Sam posted something about caramelizing cherry tomatoes and.. wham - this dish was born. I've cooked it for two dinner parties in the past week, and I have to say, it's an absolute winner.

Crispy Polenta with Mozzarella & Caramelized Cherry Tomatoes
Serves 4, as an appetizer

Crispy Polenta with Mozzarella

250 ml (1 cup) water
250 ml (1 cup) milk
180 ml (3/4 cup) polenta
1 tsp salt
50 ml (a little less than 1/4 cup) parmesan
125 g mozzarella

Bring water and milk to a boil. Add salt and the polenta, and stir until the polenta is thick. With the polenta I use, this takes two or three minutes, but if you're using something that takes longer, just keep stirring. Add the parmesan. Spread the polenta in an oiled pan in an even layer, or on a cutting board. Leave to cool.

Use a cookie cutter or a glass to cut eight rounds of polenta. Rub with olive oil on each side and fry in the oven at 225°C for about 20 minutes. (Or do it in a grill pan, or even on the barbecue.) Turn after half the time, and add the mozzarella when there's about five minutes left.

The polenta that's left after you've cut out the rounds, can be used to make lovely crunchy chips - just cut it into small pieces, toss with a little oil and salt, and fry in another pan in the oven alongside the rounds. Awesome.

Caramelized Cherry Tomatoes

200 g cherry tomatoes, halved
4 shalotts, thinly sliced
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sherry vinegar

Mix everything in a pot. Cook at very low heat for about 30 minutes, or longer. It should be thick and syrupy, but the tomatoes should still retain most of their shape. Divide on top of the mozzarella topped polenta rounds, and serve straight away.

Recipe in Swedish:
Krispig polenta med karamelliserade körsbärstomater


Andrea said...

Oh, those tomatoes look so delicious! I love how the flavor concentrates when they are roasted and caramelized. Thanks for participating in Grow Your own!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I love polenta and this is a delicious way of preparing it, Anne!

Yvonne Randall said...

Lovely polenta. I'll give it a go.

test it comm said...

Looks good and sounds great. I am going to have to going to try frying polenta again. The last time I tried it melted into a gooey mess.

Sam said...

brilliant idea Anne - I am a little polenta-nervous too - maybe you will make a braver woman out of me yet with your inspiring idea.

african vanielje said...

Anne, I always cook polenta only with water and then add loadds of butter. I don't know why I never thought of cooking it with milk. Your tomatoes are making my mouth water.

Rose said...

This looks wonderful! Yum!