If you need an easy appetizer, this tomato treat is always a crowd-pleaser! I always keep prepared polenta in a tube in the fridge to grill. It comes in handy when I need something quick. I won't hesitate to also serve this to company at the start of a meal. It's simply delicious!

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Servings: Makes approximately 2 dozen
Bruschetta Topping:
  • 12 Roma tomatoes , skinned, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic , crushed
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian parsley , coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh basil , finely chopped
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese , enough to garnish
  • 1 baguette , sliced on the diagonal about 1/4 inches thick
Grilled Polenta Cakes:
  • 1 tube polenta
  • Extra-virgin olive oil to season hot grill pan
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Cracked pepper to taste
To make bruschetta topping: Score the tomatoes by making an X, and plunge into rapidly boiling water for 30 seconds.

With a slotted spoon, put the tomatoes into a bowl and immediately run cold water over them. The skins should pull off easily. If not, place them back into the boiling water for 15 seconds more.

Cut the tomatoes in half from the top of the stem to bottom with a paring knife. Dislodge the core and scrape it out along with the seeds. Cut the tomatoes in strips, then chop into small pieces and place in a glass bowl.

Add garlic, olive oil, parsley, basil and pepper. Cover and chill. Just before you are ready to serve, add the salt and mix. Serve over grilled polenta or crostini bread!

To make crostini: Preheat oven to 450°. Slice a baguette on the diagonal—about 1/4 inches thick. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until crusty, crunchy and golden.

To make grilled polenta cakes: Preheat oven to 350°. Slice the polenta into 1/2-inch pieces. Brush both sides of the cakes with olive oil. Sprinkle on a healthy pinch of salt and pepper.

Heat a grill pan until really hot. Add the polenta cakes and grill for 5 minutes on each side. Arrange on a platter and sprinkle on fresh, chopped basil and parsley. Then, top with bruschetta topping and garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese.

Watch Cristina make this recipe! Watch


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