Monday, March 7, 2011

Polenta with a Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

This isn't really a proper "recipe" so much as a nice idea for a quick and satisfying lunch or dinner. The warm polenta is filling and hearty, while the salad adds flavor and freshness.

The trick to making this "quick and easy" is getting your hands on some packaged pre-cooked polenta, like this brand (but any brand will do). If you can't get prepared polenta then you'll have to work harder because you'll need to cook the polenta and then let it set for a while.

Polenta with a Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Ingredients (for 1-2 portions): 

- 1 package (18 oz, 500 grams) pre-cooked polenta, cut into thin slices. 
-  1 tbsp olive oil (optional if baking) 
- 2 tomatoes 
- 1/2 red onion 
- a handful of basil, finely chopped (or pesto sauce) 
- 1-2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper 
- 6-7 small balls of fresh mozzarella (Ciliegine) or a bit of regular fresh mozzarella. 


1. Prepare the polenta. There are two options for this: either heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the polenta slices over medium-high heat, turning them in the middle, until it is warmed through and develops a bit of a crispy crust. The other is to put the slices on a baking tin in a hot oven or under the broiler (again, turning them) until they are warm and a bit crispy. 

2. While the polenta is cooking, prepare the salad. Finely dice the onion and the tomatoes, and combine them together in a bowl. Add the basil, season with salt and pepper and dress with balsamic vinegar. Mix the salad well. 

3. Place the cooked polenta pieces on a plate. Top with the salad. Tear the mozzarella balls into halves (or tear/cut small pieces of fresh mozzarella) and spread them throughout the salad. 


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