Make Ahead

Fresh Corn Polenta with No-Cook Tomato Sauce

January  3, 2018
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Photo by Ayna Lorenzo of
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

As soon as I saw Ottolenghi's method for Sweet Corn Polenta (link below), I couldn't stand the thought of not tasting it. I adapted the recipe and went with a high-summer theme by adorning the golden puddle with a vibrant red no-cook tomato sauce. It was pleasing and satisfying in so many ways. Cornett

What You'll Need
  • 6 Large Ears of Corn
  • 1 Large Clove of Garlic, peeled
  • 1 Dried Red Chili Pepper
  • 2 pounds Mix of Cherry and Heirloom Tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Raw Honey
  • 1 splash Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 splash Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 bunch Basil
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
  • Pecorino Romano, to taste
  1. Cut the kernels from the corn and add to a wide pan. Run a spoon or the back of a knife along the cobs to extract all the pulp and stir in with the kernels. Add enough water to the pan to submerge the corn kernels, then place over med-high heat. Bring to a boil then immediately reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Cut the garlic clove in half. Run the cut sides around the interior of a large mixing bowl. Add the garlic and dried chili to the pan with the corn as it cooks.
  3. Half the large tomatoes in your mix and grate on a box grater into the bowl that has been prepped with the garlic. This will breakdown the interior of the tomatoes while leaving behind the skin in one piece (which makes good snacking). Half or quarter the smaller tomatoes before adding to the bowl. Stir in the honey, vinegar, oil and a generous pile of sliced basil. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and continue seasoning until you're happy with the flavors. Note that the flavors will improve as the sauce sits, so consider waiting about 10 minutes between tastings.
  4. Once the corn has simmered for 10 minutes, transfer to a food processor or use an immersion blender to break up the kernels. In the end, they should be like porridge, retaining a coarse texture.
  5. Return the polenta to the pan and simmer for another 10-15 minutes, this time to dry out the mixture.
  6. Once the polenta has thickened, season with salt and pepper and grate in a nice pile of pecorino. Taste and continue to adjust the seasoning until satisfied.
  7. To assemble the dish, spoon the polenta onto a plate. Top with the sauce and a few reserved cherry tomatoes, some whole basil leaves and shavings of pecorino.

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