A fast and easy appetizer that is healthy and gluten-free. Use ready-made polenta, pesto and bruschetta toppings. Of course homemade pesto is even better.
Keyword fried polenta, pesto, polenta
Prep Time 25minutes
Cook Time 15minutes
Author Jeanmarie Kapp
3ouncesfresh basil leaves, stems removed, rinsed and patted dry
3clovesfresh garlic, peeled
3/4cupparmesan cheese, shredded
118-ouncetube cooked polenta, cut in 1/2 inch rounds(should get 10 rounds)
3tbspolive oil, for frying
1/3 cupbreadcrumbs (optional - use gluten-free brown rice breadcrumbs)
1/3cupparmesan cheese, grated and shredded combo
1/4tspcayenne pepper (or to taste)
In a food processor, pulse the basil and garlic until minced. Add walnuts and process until the mixture is incorporated and in small pieces. Scrape the ingredients off the sidewalls with a spatula
Add half of the olive oil and half of the salt and pepper. Pulse 2-3 times to soften the ingredients.
Add the cheese and remaining olive oil. Process until soft with a grainy/nutty texture. Test seasoing and add the rest of the salt and pepper if necessary. If too dry, add more olive oil and pulse until you get the right texture.
Store the pesto in an airtight container until needed. Extra pesto freezes well.
Make Fried Polenta Cakes
Prepare a breading station. In a small bowl, add egg and water and whisk until blended. In a separate small bowl, whisk seasonings with the breadcrumbs, then add cheese.
Dip each polenta round into the egg mix, then into breading. Coat both sides well, then place on wax or parchment paper until ready to fry.
Set your cast iron frying pan on your cooktop at medium heat. Drizzle olive oil into heated pan,
Once hot, place breaded polenta rounds in pan. Cooked the rounds in batches so not to crowd the pan. Fry about 5 minutes until the bottom is a toasty golden brown. Gently flip to cook other side, using two spatulas. Fry another 5 minutes on the other or until golden brown. Remove fried polenta from pan and place on a serving platter.
To serve, top each Fried Polenta Cake with warm Pesto. Optionally, also add a dollop of tomato bruchetta topping.