Parmesan Polenta Steaks with Tomato-Basil Salad and Crispy Prosciutto

By • December 2, 2009 • 7 Comments



Author Notes: This dish is modeled after one I enjoyed during a leisurely three-hour lunch at 'inoteca in New York City: an elegant, beautifully fried polenta steak piled high with delicately shaved summer squash, fresh corn kernels, and julienned basil. Normally I’m not a huge fan of combining a piping hot protein straight out of the oven with a cold, raw topping. But the quality of the summer vegetables made them perfectly crunchy and vibrant, and they complimented the creamy, sharpness of the Parmesan polenta and the salty, smokiness of the crumbled speck on top. I've made the corn and squash optional here since they are out of season, and the salad is just as delicious with juicy tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.
PhoebeLapine

Serves 4

For the polenta

  • 2 cups water or chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon butter

For the topping

  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • 3 medium tomatoes, preferably heirloom, seeded and chopped
  • ¼ lb fresh mozzarella or boccacini, roughly shredded or chopped
  • 2 ears corn, kernels removed (optional)
  • 1 small summer squash, quartered and thinly sliced (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons julienned basil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. In a medium stock pot, bring water (or stock) and cream to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly pour the polenta into the pot in a gentle stream, while whisking briskly. Turn the heat down to low and cook, stirring constantly, for ten minutes, or until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Add the thyme, cheese and butter and whisk to combine. Taste for seasoning, and add salt as necessary.
  2. Butter an 8 x 8 inch baking dish and evenly distribute the polenta. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Fill a large skillet or Dutch oven with about an inch of vegetable oil, and place it over high heat. Remove the polenta from the fridge and cut it into 4 squares. Pat dry each steak dry, and add to the pan, two at a time. Fry each steak on both sides until brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the steaks to a paper towel to drain.
  4. While the oil is still hot, add the prosciutto one slice at a time and quickly fry on both sides, about a minute. Set aside to drain.
  5. In the meantime, combine the tomatoes, cheese, basil, olive oil, balsamic, and salt in a medium mixing bowl (and the squash and corn, if using). Toss until all ingredients are well incorporated and taste for seasoning.
  6. Arrange polenta steaks on a large platter or on individual plates and top with the salad mixture. Garnish with some coarsely torn basil and a handful of crumbled crispy prosciutto.
Jump to Comments (7)

Tags: basil, elegant, polenta, prosciutto, tomatoes

Comments (7) Questions (0)

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P1020611

over 4 years ago mariaraynal

Gorgeous and great combo of ingredients.

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over 4 years ago seemeredithcook

This looks and sounds so tasty - it looks perfectly fried in this picture.

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over 4 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

This looks great, similar to a polenta "stack" I ate once, I love the idea of topping the polenta with the prosciutto and veggies.

Ry_400

over 4 years ago melissav

Looks beautiful and delicious.

Winnie100

over 4 years ago WinnieAb

I agree...looks great.

Gizma_and_frou_frou

almost 5 years ago Cordelia

looks great.

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almost 5 years ago lastnightsdinner

Oh YUM.