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Polenta with caramelized tomatoes and goat cheese


Inspired by new ideas from a new book Antipasti I’ve bought recently which quickly became my favorite, I cooked polenta, looking for something different and light in such hot weather. Antipasti provides two recipes – one for goat cheese with spicy tomato sauce, another one for crisp polenta cake. I combined the two. And it worked great! But being a sucker for protein dishes, I couldn’t but cook a shrimp salad as well . It also became a hit among a lot of people – me and Tom:) But this is a different story which needs a special post. As a treat, here is a picture of the salad.
Salad
Recipe for polenta with caramelized tomatoes and goat cheese

For polenta:

Olive oil for preparing skillet

2 cups coarse-grid polenta

6 cups water

Salt and pepper

For the tomatoes:

2 teaspoons red pepper lakes

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tomato, finely chopped

1/2 cup tomato puree or sauce

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Oil a 12-inch round baking dish and place in the oven for a few minutes to heat. Heating the dish is important, as it helps the polenta for a bottom crust.

2. In a heavy saucepan, whist together the polenta and water and place over medium heat. Bring slowly to a boil, whisking often to prevent lumps from forming. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for just a few minutes until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and carefully pour into the hot prepared dish.

3. Bake the polenta cake until it pulls away from the sides of the dish and is lightly golden, 45 minutes.

4. To make the sauce, in a small saucepan, heat the red pepper flakes in the olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for a few minutes longer, so that the pepper flavor infuses the oil. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, vinegar, place the pan over low heat, and bring the sauce to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Be creative! Arrange a piece of polenta pie, goat cheese and tomato sauce. Garnish the plates with some greens. I used oregano.

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