Baked polenta with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, rocket and balsamic vinegar

A mouth-watering starter from Tamasin Day-Lewis - golden crisp polenta with soft milky mozzarella and juicy roasted tomatoes
By Tamasin Day-Lewis
Baked polenta with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, rocket and balsamic vinegar
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

Main

  • oil, for greasing
  • 700 ml milk
  • 150 g organic medium-coarse polenta
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • 1 tbsp mascarpone
  • 50 g parmesan, freshly grated
  • black pepper
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 sprig thyme
  • 1-2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2-3 good handfuls of rocket
  • 1 buffalo mozzarella, sliced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5. Grease a 22cm round cake tin and line with greaseproof paper.

2. Put the milk in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the polenta in a thin continuous stream, stirring constantly to remove any lumps. Stir in the cream, mascarpone, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Whisk for about 5 minutes until thickened.

3. Spoon the polenta into the cake tin, levelling the surface with a wet palette knife. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.

4. Meanwhile, put the cherry tomatoes in roasting tray and sprinkle with olive oil, turning to coat. Season with salt and pepper, and scatter with thyme and rosemary sprigs. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

5. Remove the polenta from the tin and cut it into slices. Brush the slices on both sides with oil.

6. Heat a stove-top ridged grill until very hot. Place the polenta slices on the grill and griddle for 2-3 minutes, turning, until crisp round the edges.

7. Place a bed of rocket on a serving platter. Arrange the polenta slice, tomatoes and mozzarella on top and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. Serve.

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