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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