Our ingredient of the week (goat cheese) was selected by Nancy of A Wine Lover's Wanderings. Nancy just recently returned from Italy; check out her blog for some wonderful photos and stories.
This is a recipe I clipped from Food and Wine magazine: Polenta with Goat Cheese and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes; I changed it into an appetizer by cutting the polenta into bite-size pieces. I used a local goat cheese from Celebrity Dairy - jalapeno flavor! It had a little kick to it and the flavor was great with the polenta and tomatoes.
Other Small Bites cooks are listed here. Next week's ingredient is "smoked salmon."
Polenta with Goat Cheese and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
(adapted from a Food and Wine magazine recipe)
8 1/2 cups water
6 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 3/4 cups polenta
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes
8 thyme sprigs
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large saucepan, bring the water and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a boil. Gradually whisk in the polenta and cook over low heat, whisking, until thick, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Scrape the polenta into the baking dish and smooth the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (approx. 2 hours).
Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently toss the tomatoes with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the tomatoes on the baking sheet and scatter the thyme sprigs on top. Roast for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to burst; discard the thyme.
Meanwhile, turn the polenta out onto a work surface and trim 1/2 inch off all sides. Cut the polenta into 8 rectangles. Heat a large nonstick skillet. Brush both sides of the polenta with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt. Working in 2 batches, cook the polenta over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the polenta to plates and sprinkle with the goat cheese. Arrange the roasted tomatoes over the polenta and serve.