Balsamic roasted tomatoes over polenta

I started to reach a point of vegetable saturation recently, and it was having the net effect of making me uninterested in cooking or processing any of the food at all. I knew it had to be done, but for whatever reason, was digging in my heels.

The refrigerator was full to the brim with food I had no time to prepare. Any time a friend came over and looked in there, they made a puzzled comment or three. My counter was overflowing with, among other things, yellow pear tomatoes, and I had this dilemma: What to do with them that wouldn’t take very long and would be absolutely non-taxing, but would still show them off in their best light?

I thought back to a comment Sara of Farming Friends posted on my Picked on the Fourth of July post earlier this summer: She had suggested roasting tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, which sounded so delicious that, although I haven’t made the recipe yet, I’ve thought about it an awful lot.

I had some prepared polenta in the refrigerator, and decided roasting the tomatoes would accomplish all my goals: use up some of my burgeoning produce stock while requiring a minimal investment of energy on cooking.

I roasted up the tomatoes, fried up the polenta, topped one with the other, added some Parmesan, and voila (or woo-lah, as one of my former newspaper editors used to say…), I had dinner. It was satisfying, it was delicious, and it boosted the blah flavor of the yellow pears. Here’s to keeping things less-than-complicated.

Balsamic tomatoes over polentaBalsamic Roasted Tomatoes over Polenta
(Serves 3-4)

Four cups yellow pear or cherry tomatoes
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (use the good stuff for this one, because the flavor will concentrate)
Salt and pepper
Tube of prepared polenta
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Shredded parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the tomatoes in a ovenproof pan and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss to coat.
  2. Roast the tomatoes for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are puffy and starting to get juicy and the balsamic vinegar is starting to look thick and caramel-like in the pan.
  3. Meanwhile, slice the polenta into eight equal rounds. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan, swirl so it covers the bottom, and cook the polenta rounds approximately 7-9 minutes per side, or until they are brown and slightly crispy.
  4. Serve the tomatoes over the polenta. Top with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

This is my contribution for Weekend Herb Blogging, which is hosted this week by Scott at Real Epicurean. Stop by Scott’s place for the full round-up later this weekend.


16 Responses to “Balsamic roasted tomatoes over polenta”

  1. 1 Kalyn August 25, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    It sounds like it would taste really good. I have lemon boy yellow tomatoes coming out of my ears, and although they are very flavorful, I’m thinking of new ways to use them too. Lots of tomato sauce getting made around here!

  2. 2 inadvertentgardener August 25, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    Kalyn, this would definitely work with chunks of tomato, as well. I’m guessing they would probably cook down a little faster, if the skins weren’t holding in much of the juice, but it would still be delicious. I’m glad you’re putting up so much sauce, though — that’s great!

  3. 3 Me August 26, 2007 at 6:57 am

    You always post the most delicious sounding recipes. I copy them over to my database and wait to try them till my family comes – my hubby and girls won’t eat the really savory foods – spicy and sweet and farm fare but not savory.

    Bad balsamic is a bad thing! Ruined a salad once with cheap stuff.

  4. 4 inadvertentgardener August 26, 2007 at 8:18 am

    Me, thanks — I’m glad you’re enjoying them! And yes, I agree that bad balsamic should be banned. It’s so much better to spend the money on the good stuff and just use it sparingly — a little goes a long way.

  5. 5 Katiez August 26, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    We like roasted tomatoes over polenta…very, very much! Yellow, red, purple, whatever. Never added the Balsamic but I will next time!

  6. 6 Julie (CG) August 26, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    I have some yellow toms and I wanted a recipe!! Thanks genie!

  7. 7 anniebetty August 26, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    I’m sad about your yellow pears … I had a lot of those one year, and they were just fabulous. I wonder what accounts for the wide range of success with flavor? Minerals in the soil? Seed variety? Rain?

  8. 8 inadvertentgardener August 26, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    Katiez, yum…purple tomatoes…maybe I need to make that happen next year.

    Julie, I’m glad I was able to help you out!

    AB, I’ve had them before and have loved them. I think that’s why I was so disappointed in this year’s batch. If I’d known they were going to be so bland, I would have never grown them. I have no idea what caused it, though…

  9. 9 Lydia August 26, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    Love the flavor of really good balsamic drizzled over roasted tomatoes — sweet on top of sweet. Sounds like a lovely marriage with the polenta.

  10. 10 inadvertentgardener August 26, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    Lydia, it was lovely. A good, quick recipe that seems a little elegant upon the eating!

  11. 11 Anh August 27, 2007 at 3:23 am

    Oh, what a wonderful meal! I know I will love this.

  12. 12 inadvertentgardener August 27, 2007 at 6:51 am

    Anh, I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for visiting!

  13. 13 farmingfriends August 29, 2007 at 7:12 am

    What a fabulous sounding alternative to my balsamic tomatoes recipe. I will try this soon. Thanks for being so creative.
    Sara from farmingfriends

  14. 14 inadvertentgardener August 29, 2007 at 7:59 am

    Sara, I’m so glad you think so! I really appreciate the original suggestion.

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