Summer Polenta Pizza with Grilled Corn and Roasted Tomatoes

polenta with grilled corn and roasted tomatoes Here’s a great way to showcase all those summer veggies that are popping up all over. Cook up some creamy polenta, spread it out in a pan then use it as a delicious base to set all your veggies on top. The polenta will firm up a bit and you’ll be able to cut it into wedges and serve it just like pizza!

ingredients for polenta with grilled corn As far as veggies go, the sky’s the limit as to what you’ll want to top it with, but I couldn’t resist my sweet garden tomatoes and some fresh corn that I recently picked up and decided to grill. My polenta pizza was served as a side to go along with skewered grilled shrimp, but it can certainly stand on it’s own as a main dish along with a salad.

polenta with grilled corn and roasted tomatoes Be generous with the toppings so that every wedge you cut is loaded with goodness. I love slicing my corn kernels into planks, I think it looks more appealing and deepens the flavor.

polenta with grilled corn and roasted tomatoes Speaking of flavor, what’s more intensely flavored than roasted tomatoes? Nothing in my opinion. Spoon those warm juices and sweet tomatoes all over the top, it’s a match made in heaven with the corn.

polenta with grilled corn and roasted tomatoes The polenta base is creamy yet firm, cheesy, herby, and the top is studded with all that summer offers us. It’s oh so good, indulge!

polenta with grilled corn and roasted tomatoes 

Summer Polenta Pizza with Grilled Corn and Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 pint mixed colored cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 garlic clove grated on a microplane
  • olive oil
  • a small handful of fresh basil and parsley
  • 2 ears fresh corn, grilled and cut into planks
  • FOR THE POLENTA
  • 1 cup corn polenta, quick cooking kind
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 teaspoon, salt
  • 2 scallions sliced
  • 1/2 cup or so parmesan or romano cheese

Instructions

  1. Place foil onto a rimmed baking sheet and place cut tomatoes and grated garlic on top.
  2. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper and drizzle all over with olive oil.
  3. Place into a 375 degree F.oven and roast until tomatoes blister and juices run into the oil.
  4. Sprinkle with fresh basil when finished then set aside.
  5. For the polenta place the water into a medium sized saucepan then bring the water to a boil.
  6. Add the butter, salt and quickly whisk in the polenta.
  7. Reduce to simmer and keep whisking til nice an smooth and thickens nicely about 5 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and stir in grated cheese, parsley, basil and scallions.
  9. Evenly spread polenta on the bottom of a serving vessel.
  10. Place your corn and tomatoes all over the top, including the juices of the roasted tomatoes.
  11. Add more herbs and cut scallions for garnish and a final drizzle of olive oil.
  12. Let the polenta firm up, it doesn't take long, then cut into wedges and serve.
http://www.prouditaliancook.com/2014/07/summer-polenta-grilled-corn-roasted-tomatoes.html

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Creamy Warm Polenta with Broccoli Rabe, Mushrooms and Roasted Tomatoes

creamy polenta

Creamy polenta is the perfect winter fare, it’s warm, comforting and becomes the ideal rustic meal for a very cold winter day!

creamy polenta

Fresh herbs, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and a touch of cream stirred into the polenta makes it so irresistible, you’ll be tempted to eat it straight out of the pan, trust me!

creamy polenta

But please try and resist the urge because it tastes even better when it’s spread out all over a platter and then topped with your favorite vegetables.

creamy polenta

I used garlicky broccoli rabe, juicy roasted tomatoes and sauteed portobellos to grace the top of mine. I didn’t even have time to plate it, we just grabbed 2 forks and went to town!

poached egg

Now if you’re feeling like you need just a little more comfort, place a couple of poached eggs on top and let that yolk ooze on out. I guarantee all your senses will be satisfied!

Creamy Warm Polenta with Broccoli Rabe, Mushrooms and Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup polenta ( I used the quick cook kind)
  • 2 cups of chicken broth, or vegetable
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley and basil
  • 1/2 cup of half and half
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 3 portobello mushrooms, gills removed and sliced
  • 1 bunch of broccoli rabe
  • 5 campari tomatoes or several cherry tomatoes
  • 2 shallots
  • 4 minced garlic
  • splash of white wine

Instructions

  1. Prepare Vegetables: Roast tomatoes on baking sheet with foil drizzled with olive oil at 400 until they slightly burst.
  2. Boil broccoli rabe for 5 minutes then place in ice bath, drain, then saute with 2 cloves of shaved garlic, olive oil and a pinch of crushed red pepper.
  3. Saute 2 chopped garlic and 2 chopped shallots in olive oil, add sliced mushrooms and a splash of white wine, cook until moisture evaporates.
  4. For the Polenta: Boil water and broth along with the butter, whisk in polenta cook until bubbly and creamy.
  5. Stir in grated Parmigiano, herbs and the half and half, drizzling a little more olive oil.
  6. Spread polenta on a platter or board, arrange veggies on top, garnish with more Parmigiano
http://www.prouditaliancook.com/2013/02/creamy-warm-polenta-with-broccoli-rabe-mushrooms-and-roasted-tomatoes.html

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Little Lasagnas with Tomato, Burrata and Pesto

This recipe was inspired by a photo I saw in La Cucina Italiana magazine, and although my version is much more simplified than the original, using store-bought ingredients, I can assure you nothing lacked in the flavor department, in fact it was so dreamy it got rave reviews, but then how could it not with creamy burrata adorning it!
Being able to purchase fresh lasagna sheets and good quality pesto is key to the simplicity and taste, a quick 2 minute boil for the pasta then cooled down in ice water and patted dry.
The ingredients consist of fresh pasta sheets that are scattered with roasted tomatoes along with their lovely juice, dollops of store-bought basil pesto (not pictured here), grated parmesan another drizzle of olive oil and of course the main character, burrata cheese!
You can do 2 or 3 layers at a time, what ever you so desire, you’ll be assembling them on parchment paper that has been brushed with olive oil on a baking sheet, and because everything is precooked all you have to do is heat then up in a 450 oven until the burrata has melted and the edges are golden. Garnish with chopped basil and serve immediately!
This is fantastic for a dinner party just add a fresh green salad along with some crusty bread!
Here’s a link to the original recipe inspiration if you want to make your own pesto and farro based pasta sheets.
Buon Appetito!

 

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Roasted Salmon with Pan Seared Gnocchi

This is not so much a recipe, but by placing these components together you create a fabulous meal! If you read my blog regularly you know I love my roasted tomatoes, I make them simply by placing foil on a rimmed lined baking sheet then adding shaved garlic and a very generous amount of olive oil, salt and pepper over my sweet cherry, grape or Campari tomatoes, roasting them in a 400-425 degree oven.  The tin foil holds all that juicy, tomatoey, oily goodness that comes out, for fear any would burn off!
 For added flavor in this dish, capers and olives were tossed into the juice.
I always roast my salmon at 450 for 15 minutes, take it out and let it rest.
Have you tried pan seared gnocchi yet? I urge you to try it! I had leftover ricotta gnocchi in my freezer and right from the frozen state you saute it in a pan with melted butter and a drizzle of olive oil, the outside gets golden and crispy and the middle is soft. I learned this technique from watching Chef Jonathan Waxman in a live demo. It was the perfect companion for my salmon along with some sauteed spinach.
Don’t waste the tomatoes! Toss them in fresh green beans with roasted cipollini onions, a delicious side!

Buon Appetito!

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Roasted Tomato Shrimp

This is one dish I make often, I always seem to have shrimp either in my freezer or fresh, sometimes I toss in spaghetti, or if we’re not in a spaghetti mood I might make some couscous on the side to serve with it, but one of our favorite ways to eat this is by putting the whole pan right in the middle of the table surrounded by other little small bites and appetizers.

What you have here is the intensely concentrated flavor of tomatoes that have been roasted with shaved garlic, olive oil and thyme. The tomato’s of choice are either grape or the Campari variety on the vine, or a mixture of both.

Roasting your tomatoes ahead of time can place this dish on your table in less than 15 minutes.

For a pound of shrimp coat your pan with a generous drizzle of olive oil, add to your pan 4 cloves of shaved garlic, saute til golden, add shrimp and a good splash of white wine. When the shrimp turns pink and is almost cooked through add in your roasted tomatoes and toss. Garnish with chopped parsley and fresh basil.

Buon Appetito!

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Grilled Scallops with Roasted Tomatoes and French Beans!


If you love scallops, I’m certain you will love this dish! Every time I make it you will hear sounds like “Mmmmm!” “Oh, Wow!” “Yummm!” around my table, (me included).
Believe me, it isn’t any skill on my part, it’s very simple to make, it’s just that the flavors go so well together. You have the intense concentration of the tomatoes which have been roasted, balanced with the sweet and slightly smoky flavor of the grilled scallops, added with it all, are those thin french beans that still have a little bite to them, I’m telling you, it’s a match made in heaven!

The other great thing about this dish is the fact that the tomatoes and beans can be done ahead of time, even the day before. Scallops take no time at all, so I actually recommend you doing that, this way when the scallops are done, everything comes together so quickly.

Roasting the Tomatoes:

You must use those little tomatoes on the vine! I used the Campari ones from Costco, but you can get them almost any where. They have such terrific flavor already, and when you roast them they get even better. Take a foil or parchment lined baking sheet, cut each tomato in half, over a bowl lightly squeeze a little of the juice out, place cut side up , drizzle with olive oil, s&p, and crushed garlic. Roast in a hot 400 degree oven till they shrivel up and have a deep red color with still a little moisture.

Forgive me, I’m not sure how long it takes, I know its less than an hour and more than 20 min’s.

Again it depends how much moisture is inside, just keep checking. Let them cool, and gently lift them off with a spatula and pack them into a container till ready to use.

Scallops:

Good quality scallops, big ones, that are dry, you don’t want to put a wet scallop on the grill it just won’t sear right. So place them between paper towels to get any moisture out. Toss them with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and cook them on a very hot grill and don’t flip them till you get some good grill marks. I can’t tell you exactly how long they take, it depends on how thick they are.

But don’t over cook them OK!

French Beans:

Cook till crisp tender, rinse in cold water, put them into a Ziploc bag till ready to use.

Now when you’re ready to eat, take a large saute pan, cook some shallots and more garlic in olive oil till tender. Now take your roasted tomatoes, place them in the pan and heat then gently through, as well as the beans.

When scallops are done, just incorporate everything together! That’s it!


Buon Appetito!!!
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GRILLED PESTO SHRIMP WITH ROASTED TOMATO SPAGHETTI

I love pesto! or for that fact, anything with basil, so it’s no wonder that I always keep a jar of it stocked in my pantry,or in my freezer when I make it homemade. I think it enhances a lot of dishes and it’s a way to add a lot of flavor. Pesto is exceptionally good when brushed on shrimp, and oh so easy to prepare!


I decided to grill my shrimp inside because A, it’s too cold outside!!, and B, I wanted a good excuse to use my new Le Creuset grill pan!! I love the size of it, not too big, and not too small, fits perfectly on one burner, and great for grilling shrimp. But of course any indoor grill pan will do.

Another thing I always have in my house, are those sweet little Campari tomatoes, I always have a bowl of them sitting on my counter. To make this sauce, I just slit the top and bottom of each tomato, put them on a cookie sheet with olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Roast them at 400 Degrees till they pop open a little, and the juices start to run. Pour everything over some hot pasta, oil and all,, and mix in some fresh basil!

If you don’t feel like having pasta, the shrimp certainly stands alone by itself, I usually marinate them for about an hour in a ziplock bag with just some crushed garlic, a little olive oil, salt and pepper. When they’re on the grill, then I brush them all over with the pesto.

BUON APPETITO!!

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ROASTED CAMPARI TOMATOES!!

Cut side up, on a foil lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, shaved garlic, fresh thyme, salt & pepper. Roast at 425 till you get a nice carmelized color on them!

One staple that I always have in my home, are these little gems!! I can’t say enough about them! Long gone are the days of the tasteless winter tomatoes, because these babies are available all year long!! Campari Tomatoes were developed in Europe and imported to the US in the 1990′s. They are sold in clusters still on the vine to ensure freshness, grown in a greenhouse herbicide free, always unblemished, sweet, and delicious!! If you haven’t tried them yet, please do! You’ll be hooked like me! And if you don’t see them in your grocery store ask about them! One thing you must know, is that you never, never, refrigerate them! Always keep them at room temperature and they will be as sweet as the day you bought them.

Some of the ways I use them of course are sliced up in a salad, bruschetta, I sometimes stuff them with rice and basil, as a side dish, but I have to say I love them roasted the best! You can put them in pasta, on a nice piece of fish, or chicken, or on top of your favorite pizza, you get the picture, I’m crazy about them!!! Try them if you can, you won’t be disappointed!!

Buon Appetito!

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