Author Notes: This grilled polenta takes a new twist with an almond pesto which is extremely light. It is then topped with sun dried tomatoes and zucchini and grilled. This is definately my very favourite! - Maria Teresa Jorge
- 20 leaves of fresh basil
- 20 fresh parsley leaves
- 1/3 cup blanched raw almonds
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (more or less)
- coarse salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup cornmeal or instant polenta
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium Zucchini, washed but not peeled
- 10 sun dried tomatoes, chopped in pieces
- 12 teaspoons thick cream
- Maldon Salt
- freshly ground pepper
- In a heavy pan bring water and salt to a boil. Pour the cornmeal in a steady stream and whisk. Lower heat to low and cook the polenta so that it barely boils, whisking constantly. When it starts to thicken, use a wooden spoon and continue cooking for 45 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until the polenta creates a crust in the pan and pulls away from the sides. If using pre-cooked polenta follow the instructions in the package.
- Line a shallow baking tray with plastic film, spread the polenta to about 3/4 inches thick, cover with film and allow to cool completely.
- For the pesto: In a food processor add the basil leaves shredded small, the parsley and the salt. Pulse to chop finely. Add the almonds and pulse until in small pieces. Add the mustard, 2 pinches of salt and pulse. Start adding the olive oil in astream until you have a thick paste. Depending on how bif the basil leaves are and how you process, the olive oil may vary from 1/3 cup to a little more. Season with salt and pepper and put in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. It will keep in the fridge for 1 month.
- Pre-heat the oven grill to very hot with rack in top shelf. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Wash the zucchini, cut in half or 3 equal parts and cut in a mandolin in thin slices.
- Cut the dry tomatoes in small pieces.
- Cut the cold and firm polenta in rectangles and put on the baking tray. Brush the polenta on both sides with olive oil and grill for 3 minutes on each side or until crispy and brown.
- Lower the oven grill to medium hot and lower the rack to 1 slot lower.
- Top the grilled polenta with pesto, sprinkle dry tomato, cover with zucchini slices (raw). Sprinkle with Maldon salt and a dash of freshly ground pepper and add a teaspoon of thick cream on top.
- Grill until the zucchini and cream are golden. Serve immediately.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Open House Dish
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Vegetarian Holiday Side
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Polenta Recipe