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Grilled Garlic and Tomato Polenta with Caprese Salad

  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Hands-on Time: 10 mins
  • Makes: 5 servings

Inspired by the fresh, juicy tomatoes in caprese salad, this gluten-free recipe incorporates tomato flakes for bright acidity to complement the sweetness of grilled polenta cubes.

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1. Line an 8x4-inch bread pan with parchment or wax paper, letting the paper hang over the edges. Set aside. Greasing thoroughly with butter or olive oil also will work.
2. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Slowly stir in the polenta grits until combined. Stir in the salt and bring to a boil, stirring often.
3. Reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every minute or so. It will quickly begin to thicken and eventually become quite stiff. The polenta will not be pourable. Although it will appear cooked after about 15 minutes keep cooking for the full 30 minutes.
4. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the oil, tomato flakes, Parmesan, garlic and pepper. Continue to stir frequently until the 5 minutes are up. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper if desired.
5. Scoop the polenta into your bread pan. Place a small sheet of parchment or wax paper over top and press with your hands to pack the polenta down and smooth out. You want the top surface to be even and smooth.
6. Let sit on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes then refrigerate on the cooling rack for 2 hours or overnight.
7. Preheat your grill. Real wood charcoal tastes best, but gas works fine. Avoid instant-light briquettes as they make food taste like lighter fluid. Aim for medium-high/high heat – if your grill lid has a thermometer built into the lid, it should read about 400 degrees.
8. Remove the polenta by the sides of the parchment paper. Slice into 3 long rows then 6 shorter rows so you have 18 cubes of polenta. They should be about 1 1⁄4 to 1 1⁄2-inches square.
9. Lightly coat the squares with high-heat oil. Place your skewers through the center of each cube and leave about 1⁄2 inch between each cube.
10. Grease your grill grates then place the skewered polenta on the grill for 4 to 7 minutes or when grill marks appear and polenta is crispy. The polenta is already cooked so you’re just looking to crisp the top and bottom sides on the grill.
11. Flip the skewers over (with the help of a metal spatula if the polenta sticks) with tongs and grill for another 4 to 7 minutes.
12. Remove from the grill and let cool for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove cubes from the skewers and place on a platter.
13. Top with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, balsamic, basil and a few grinds of salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


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