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Pan Fried Cheesy Polenta with Roasted Herbed Cherry Tomatoes

by Erma Afra (follow)
Vegetarian (1517)      Tomatoes (202)      Entree (137)      Polenta (24)     
This dish is simple and easy, but looks as if you've put more effort into it than you actually have. It's all in the presentation.
It can be served as a light meal or an entree.
You will need to refrigerate the polenta overnight, so plan ahead.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 115 minutes
Makes: 4-5 servings


For the Fried Polenta:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup polenta
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons chopped chives
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon olive oil for frying

For the Roasted Tomatoes:
500g cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon minced parsley (fresh or dried)
1/2 teaspoon minced oregano (fresh or dried)
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 pinches of salt

chopped chives
balsamic vinegar


Fried Polenta
Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a pan on medium and add minced garlic. Stir continuously until fragrant.

Pour stock into the pan and bring to a boil.

Add in the polenta gradually while stirring. Continue stirring until it thickens to a porridge-like consistency.

Cover pan, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Stir in milk and chives. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread the polenta mixture into a shallow baking pan in a 2.5cm thick layer. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Using a large round cookie cutter, cut the polenta into circles. Alternatively cut them into squares with a knife.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium and fry the polenta pieces until golden brown on both sides.

Roasted Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 160C.

Mix olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Slice tomatoes in halves, and spread them evenly on a lined baking tray.

Brush the tomatoes with some of the herbed oil, and reserve the remaining oil.

Roast tomatoes in the oven for 1.5 hours.

To assemble, place roasted tomatoes on top of the polenta, then add a dash of balsamic vinegar a sprinkle of chopped chives.

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