Caprese Stacks on Parmesan Crusted Polenta

by Melissa on June 7, 2009

I love the flavors of caprese salad, so when I saw this recipe for Caprese Polenta Stacks I immediately starred it to make this summer. Then a couple weeks later I saw this recipe for Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad. I loved the idea of roasting the tomatoes and decided to combine the two recipes into what you see below.

I used a premade polenta log, which can be a bit bland, so I ramped up the flavor by adding some garlic and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I was so proud of how these came out, they were truly delicious! Roasting the tomatoes adds so much flavor, and stacking everything on top of the polenta  makes for a beautiful presentation. These could serve as an appetizer, side dish or even a light dinner. I certainly plan on making them again several times this summer!

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Caprese Stacks on Parmesan Crusted Polenta

  • 5-6 roma tomatoes, sliced into rounds
  • 3+ tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1  tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 Polenta log, sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch rounds
  • garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Arrange the tomato slices on a sheet pan, in a single layer. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with the garlic, sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 1 hour until the tomatoes are concentrated and begin to caramelize. Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature. 
While tomatoes are cooling, heat a flat skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Season individual polenta slices with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Lay polenta slices in a single layer on skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip polenta over and cook on the other side an additional 2-3 minutes. Flip polenta over again and sprinkle with a small amount of Parmesan cheese, once cheese has melted enough to adhere to polenta, flip the slices over, cheese side down in the pan. Add additional Parmesan to the tops of polenta slices. When the Parmesan on the bottom begins to brown, flip slices over again and cook until both sides have lightly browned and polenta has heated through.
Place polenta slices on a platter, top with a roasted tomato, slice of fresh mozzarella, another tomato and fresh basil. Serve at room temperature.
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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Ellen June 7, 2009 at 3:00 pm

These looks fabulous! I starred them to try sometime soon.

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BMK June 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm

What a gorgeous summer appetizer or even lunch!

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elly June 7, 2009 at 7:15 pm

These sound delicious and they look so pretty!

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Kate June 7, 2009 at 8:38 pm

I love anything caprese!!!

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Joelen June 8, 2009 at 12:46 am

I love caprese salad but incorporating polenta is a great idea! (I’ve missed commenting on your blog for a bit so it’s so good to have some time and catch up with all your cooking/baking! :) )

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Eva June 8, 2009 at 7:44 pm

*munch munch* those look great! a great variation on a caprese salad that is perfect for the tomatoes that are just starting to come in *munch munch, licks up balsamic vinegar from my caprese salad*

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Carrie June 9, 2009 at 10:31 am

These look so good!! I love the presentation. I agree that they sound perfect for summer time!

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Margie June 14, 2009 at 3:59 pm

I love your idea to use roasted tomatoes and polenta in the classic caprese. Yum! I see that you have homemade gnocchi on your list of 2009 goals. You might be interested in my gnocchi post back in Feb ’09.

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Erin June 16, 2009 at 10:07 am

I didn’t click on the link as I was reading, so I didn’t even realize I was part of your inspiration until I got to the bottom of the post. This sounds like a fantastic recipe! Adding the polenta and making a stack turns it into pretty much a complete meal. Glad I could help, and thanks for giving me another idea to try :)

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Ben July 15, 2009 at 10:51 am

Great Recipe! Made a slight variation and they were delicious.

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