Polenta “Fries” with Roasted Tomato Sauce
4 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more as needed
1 1/2 cups coarse-ground cornmeal
1/2 cup grated Parmesan plus more as needed
4 cups grape tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
Fresh black pepper, to taste
1. Bring water to boil; add salt. Whisking constantly, slowly add cornmeal and whisk until smooth. Reduce heat to medium and stir with a wooden spoon until thick, about 5 minutes.
2. Remove polenta from heat and stir in Parmesan. Pour into a 9-by-12-inch rimmed sheet pan, smooth the surface, let stand until cool, then refrigerate at least 2 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On rimmed baking sheet, drizzle tomatoes and garlic with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast in oven, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes begin to brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
4. Transfer to food processor and pureé. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve sauce.
5. Cut chilled polenta into fingers, about 1/2-inch wide by 3 inches long. Working in batches, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet and shallow fry fingers, turning to cook all sides until browned, crisp and hot, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to towel-lined plate or cooling rack over a pan to drain, and sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Continue frying, keeping cooked fries warm in a low oven. Serve hot with tomato dipping sauce. Serves 4 to 6.
Why this recipe sings: Roasting any vegetable brings out its natural sugars, and roasted grape tomatoes pack a load of flavor.
If you have it: You can add flavor by cooking polenta in chicken stock, but many store-bought brands contain lots of sodium. Look for low-sodium or make your own chicken or vegetable stock.
For more 5-ingredient recipes, see the original article, “5-Ingredient Recipes for Simple Cooking.”