Bill Granger recipe: Polenta and three-way tomato salad
Sunday 31 August 2014
I'm loving the varied selection of tomatoes we've been able to get in our farmers' markets this year. I'm sure the displays get more ambitious and "Mediterranean" with every summer that passes.
200g instant polenta
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
6 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
450g baby plum tomatoes
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
6 heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
100g semi-dried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
2 tbsp small capers, drained
4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 cucumber, cut into chunks
Handful basil leaves, torn
250g buffalo mozzarella
Put the polenta into a medium-sized pan, pour over 800ml of boiling water and stir until smooth, then reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the Parmesan then spread out into a 10cm x 20cm oiled baking tray and allow to cool and set in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas7. Cut the polenta into 2cm strips then break up into rough cubes. Lay the polenta squares on a greased baking tray, drizzle with 2 tbsp of oil and cook for 25 minutes or until starting to crisp up and colour. Add the plum tomatoes to the tray, season well, cook for 10 to 15 minutes more.
Meanwhile, mix the remaining olive oil with the shallots and red-wine vinegar. In a bowl, combine the tomato wedges, semi-dried tomatoes, capers, anchovies, cucumber and half the torn basil leaves. Pour over the shallot-vinegar dressing and allow the flavours to infuse for 20 minutes.
Remove the polenta and tomatoes from the oven and toss with the marinating tomato mixture. Serve immediately with the remaining basil and torn mozzarella scattered on top.
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