It's hard to believe it's nearly September - and that it's been 3 weeks since my last post here. We've been so busy the past 3 weekends - between traveling and call - that the time has literally flown by. Last weekend, we were both on call; the weekend before, we made a quick trip to NYC to celebrate my father's hard work. We are so happy for him and so incredibly proud of his accomplishments.
So, as summer's last hurrah is here, I'm posting this tomato recipe that makes use of the best of the season - fresh tomatoes. This is, like always, very easy to put together. All you need is to cook the polenta (generally 3 cups of water for 1 cup of dry polenta) and slice some tomatoes and basil. That's the extent of the prep work.
I'm hoping to make these tartlets more time before these pretty bright red orbs give way to the yellow and orange hues of fall squash, although I imagine polenta would be a great partner for fall vegetables too. As a matter of fact, I have a giant kabocha squash sitting on my countertop already. I'm not sure just how to attack it (have you seen kabochas? scary looking things with thick skin...I'll have to ask my Dad, who swears by kabocha almost every morning). I'll report back on the kabocha soon...
Summer Tomato Polenta Tartlets
makes 12 tartlets
1 cup dry polenta
3 cups water
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp basil, chopped (plus several more sliced leaves for topping)
crumbled chèvre (or cheese of your choice)
1. In a medium pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil over high heat
2. Add polenta gradually while stirring constantly. Turn down heat to medium-low
3. Whisk in grated pecorino, salt, and chopped basil. Continue to stir until polenta thickens to the point where it begins to pull away from the sides of the pot. Adjust seasonings to taste and remove polenta from heat
4. Preheat broiler on low. Lightly oil a standard muffin pan
5. Pour approximately 1/4 cup polenta in each tin. Top with crumbled chèvre (or cheese of your choice) and several tomato halves
6. Broil for approximately 10 minutes, until tomatoes begin to pucker (watch to make sure there's no burning, since broiler heat can vary)
7. Remove tartlets from oven; allow to cool for 10-15 minutes (do not try to scoop them out immediately; they will not hold their shape until they cool down)
8. Remove from the pan, garnish with sliced basil leaves and enjoy!
I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend. I'm excited for fall (aka pumpkin pie season in this family)!