At the Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market this week you'll find pastured meats and eggs from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm, cut flowers from Tiger Lily Art Company, and fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm, including lots of tomatoes.
When tomatoes are at their summer sweetest, I love eating them lightly roasted with fresh herbs. As a vehicle for their fragrant juices, I decided to make some polenta, using this Bon Appetit recipe for Instant pot polenta cacio e pepe.
While the polenta cooked (in just 9 minutes), I roasted a pan full of cherry tomatoes with rosemary. Then I sprinkled on some more delicate herbs (chives, thyme, and oregano), poured over the polenta and ran it under the broiler. At this point, one could let it cool and harden and cut wedges to eat, but we couldn't wait for that and instead ate it as a delicious porridge spooned into bowls.
Polenta with Herb Roasted Tomatoes
serves four1 cup polenta
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
generous amount of black pepper
2 Tbsp butter (divided)
1/2 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 spring rosemary
several springs chives, thyme, and oregano
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and put in a cast iron or oven safe skillet to warm. Rinse and the cherry tomatoes and herbs. Chop the rosemary leaves. Separately chop the other herbs.
2. In an Instant Pot, combine the polenta, water, salt and pepper. Cook on high pressure for 9 minutes and then release the pressure manually. Whisk the contents of the pot, adding 1 Tbsp of butter and the grated cheese, until it is a thick porridge. One can also prepare the polenta on the stove top like this.
3. While the polenta is cooking, remove the warm skillet from the oven. Put 1 Tbsp of butter into the skillet to melt and then add the cherry tomatoes and chopped rosemary and roll around to coat. Roast the cherry tomatoes for about 12 minutes until they have collapsed and released some juices.
4. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the setting to broil. Sprinkle the other chopped herbs onto the cherry tomatoes. Use a spatula to layer the cooked polenta onto the roasted tomatoes. Put under the broiler for about 5 minutes until the top is golden brown. Serve immediately, spooning into dishes, or allow the pan to cook until the polenta has hardened and can be cut into wedges. Enjoy.