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Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Polenta: Naturally Gluten Free
Polenta is naturally gluten-free yellow or white cornmeal (also know as maize) ground down to either a very fine or coarser consistency. Polenta is very popular in Italian dishes, but can also be found in many European and South American-influenced meals. Instant polenta is very easy to make and can cook up in less than 5 minutes. Polenta tends to bubble and pop while cooking, so it is important to keep an eye on your pot with continuous stirring. Poltena can be eaten alone as a side dish, can be topped with cheeses and sauces, or can even be chilled and hardened and shaped into mini-pizzas or tartlettes.

I recently received the Whole Foods e-newsletter with a gluten-free recipe for polenta tarts. It is supposed to be a snowy weekend, so I look forward to trying this new recipe.

Here is the recipe which can also be found on the Whole Foods Website

Tomato-topped Polenta Tart

Serves 6 to 8

* 1 1/2 cups finely ground dry polenta (cornmeal)
* 2 cups cold water
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
* 4 ounces soft goat cheese
* 1 pint sliced cherry tomatoes
* 1/4 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
* 1/4 cup loosely packed slivered fresh basil leaves
* 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375°F. Oil a 10-inch tart pan with removable base with olive oil cooking spray and set aside.

Combine polenta with water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Stir in the grated cheese and continue to stir 3 to 5 minutes longer. Transfer polenta to prepared tart pan. Spread it evenly over bottom and up sides of pan. Bake until dry and crisp on edges, about 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and spread a thin layer of goat cheese over crust. Arrange cherry tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes on top of the cheese. Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes longer, until the cheese is softened and tomatoes are heated through. Before serving, remove the sides from the tart pan and sprinkle top with basil and a drizzle of olive oil.
Nutrition Info

Per serving (About 4oz/112g-wt.): 260 calories (100 from fat), 12g total fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 10g protein, 29g total carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 3g sugar), 15mg cholesterol, 560mg sodium

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Blogger Vittoria said...


I just found your blog. I grew up with polenta in an Italian American household. This recipe looks great, similar to the way my grandmother used to make it. I see your in Astoria, I'm gluten free in East Elmhurst. my blog is

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