Polenta Cakes with Tomatoes and Pesto (03.11.13)

Posted at 10:16 AM, Mar 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-11 17:37:03-04

by Jennifer Burns, Dan’s Market

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pound prepared polenta, cut into 1/2” round pieces
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (on any nut)
  • 1 large bunch basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tomatoes cut into 1/2” slices
  • 6-8 large basil leaves, torn
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Whisk the milk and egg in a bowl. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, paprika, salt and pepper on a plate. Coat the polenta slices in the flour mixture; shake off any excess. Dunk in the egg and milk mixture. Coat thoroughly with the flour mixture. Place in the pan. Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Place on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

For the pesto, in a small frying pan, toast the pine nuts over low heat for 4-5 minutes or until they turn a golden brown color; let cool. In a blender or food processor, add toasted pine nuts, parsley, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. While mixing, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.

To plate, layer the polenta cakes with a tomato slice. Add a pinch of salt and pepper on the tomato. Drizzle some of the pesto over the top. Garnish with pieces of the basil. Serve immediately.