Fresh Corn Polenta with Tomato Basil Salad

Fresh Corn Polenta with Tomato Basil Salad

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As with any ingredient that’s in season, corn on the cob during summer time is a must. One of my favorite ways to use is to make a fresh (and delicious) take on traditional polenta.  

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What is polenta?  It’s dish of boiled cornmeal that can also be solidified and baked, grilled or fried.  Here's an earlier breakfast post that incorporates it.  The reason that this fresh corn version is so amazing is it’s less work, creamier and has more natural sweetness and flavor.  The first time I tasted it I couldn't believe how delicious it was.    

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The recipe below includes a tricolor tomato salad with basil since tomatoes are also in season, but the fresh corn polenta would also be delicious with a fried egg, grilled shrimp, a vegetable ragout, or anything else you would usually eat with polenta or grits.  It’s also perfectly delicious on it’s own as a side dish.  I love to also make variations depending on the dish by varying the cheese and ingredients I  use.  For example, cheddar cheese and jalapeno are excellent substitutions.   

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Ingredients:

Serves - 4

  • 8 ears of corn
  • 2 Tbs of unsalted butter
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 carton of multi-colored tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped basil
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Shuck corn and cut kernels off with a knife into a large bowl
  2. Reserve ¼ cup of the kernels, and place remaining into a blender or food processor and a paste forms (it’s ok if it seems a little watery).  You could also use a box grater and grate the corn if you don’t have a good blender or food processor.  
  3. Chop tomatoes in half and add to a medium both with basil, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and stir until coated.  
  4. Heat a frying pan on medium heat and add the butter.  Once melted, add in the corn paste and beginning stirring until the paste starts to thicken (about 2 minutes).  The idea is to cook most of the water out so that the paste becomes creamy.  
  5. Turn off heat and stir in the parmesan cheese until melted.  
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