Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bottomless Polenta Pie with Tomatoes

Polenta "pie" / Maisimannapirukas

Well, I'm not sure I can even call this a pie (hence the 'bottomless' in the title), but I cannot think of a better name either. The recipe is slightly adapted from a Finnish women's magazine Talo & Koti ('house and home', 5/2010), where it was kindly shared by a Finnish chef in France, Jormi Törmanen (can you pronounce that name? ;)). I loved it, but it's pretty mild on its own. I think it's best served as a side dish to some grilled meat or with a green rucola salad drizzled with a gutsy vinaigrette dressing.

I might try shaving some Parmesan cheese (or perhaps shredding some Mozzarella?) on top next time, but it's definitely lovely as it is as well.

Polenta Pie with Tomatoes
Serves six to eight

Polenta "pie" / Polentapirukas

1 litre of water
1 tsp salt
250 g quick-cook polenta
2 Tbsp butter (or olive oil) + extra for brushing
couple of ripe tomatoes (not too soft)
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary or oregano or thyme, finely chopped
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Bring the water to the boil in a large saucepan, season with salt. Add the polenta, all at once, whisking vigorously to avoid any lumps forming. Stir in the butter or oil and simmer on a low heat, stirring regularly, until the polenta is cooked (it's hard to give exact timings here, as different products behave differently - look at the cooking times described on the packet).
Butter or oil an oven gratin dish (about 24x34 cm), pour the cooked polenta into the dish.
Cut the tomatoes into thick slices, press onto the polenta. Sprinkle with chopped herbs and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake in a pre-heated 250 C oven for about 20-25 minutes, until the polenta is lovely golden on top and tomatoes are ever so slightly charred on edges.

Polenta pie / Polentapirukas


Tuuli said...

Jouni Törmänen. Still potentially a mouthful, but not quite as bad. Thanks for sharing the recipe - sounds like a good pie alternative for gluten-free eating.

Pene said...

I agree that Polenta (or corn meal) doesn't have a lot of flavour. I'd experiment with some herbs & a strong flavoured cheese.

margie said...

I love polenta - I can see this with braised pork & fennel perhaps, or even just roast chicken. Yum!

Unknown said...

This is really interesting because I have recently been looking up British wartime recipes and came across a semolina souffle with tomatoes which must owe its origins to a similar polenta dish - the Marguerite Patten recipe I used had the tomatoes on the bottom - it was delcious as I'm sure your was..mines at

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

One that would need trying, I think; perhaps on the side of something else it would be great.

Alanna Kellogg said...

This looks worth working on, the color is so beautiful and plates always need color! And it gives me an idea for a totally favorite recipe that's been too starchy to make very often. Thanks for the inspiration!