Polenta, Grilled with Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Basil Drizzle

This recipe is inspired by the Italian classic salad, ensalada caprese made of fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil, drizzled with olive oil.  Instead, the tomato is cooked with garlic and basil in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, the mozzarella is melted and all is served over grilled polenta.  It makes a great presentation and the taste is sensational.

Grilled polenta with melted fresh mozzarella and tomato basil drizzle


To make Tomato Basil Drizzle:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained (avoid petite diced, I like the bigger dice in this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup additional fresh chopped basil for garnish

Saute the garlic in olive oil until tender.  Add fresh basil, vinegar and salt and pepper.  Simmer for 10 minutes to allow the vinegar to cook down a bit.  Add the drained tomatoes.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon over grilled polenta and top with additional fresh chopped basil.

To make Grilled Polenta :

  • 1 18 oz package pre-cooked polenta (in the grocer’s refrigerated case)
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoons pre-made basil pesto

Drizzle half the olive oil on a grill pan.  Slice the polenta into one inch slices and place on hot grill pan.  Drizzle remaining oil on top side of polenta slices.  Salt polenta to taste.  Grill for 3 to 4 minutes and flip.  Continue to grill for another 3 to 4 minutes.  Using a small spoon, smear a little pest on each slice of polenta.  Top each slice of polenta with a slice of the fresh mozzarella.  Place grill pan under broiler on the closest setting.  Broil until cheese begins to melt or brown, whichever happens first.  This will depend on the type of cheese you use.  Really fresh mozzarella, packed in liquid won’t brown before it begins to melt, so if that is what you are using remove it when it begins to melt.

Arrange the polenta with melted cheese on a platter and spoon the tomato basil mixture over top.  Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil and serve immediately.



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