Polenta bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, herbs and mozzarella

My friend John provided me with this little treat one afternoon. John doesn't cook very much but he soon will need to learn as he will be getting married in less than a year's time. His fiance enjoys these little treats and so we expect John to be learning many more polenta recipes soon.
    Start with two cups boiling water with a pinch of salt thrown in.

    Add one cup meal and stir. Reduce heat as needs be. Stir with a wooden spoon being sure to scrape both the sides and bottom of the pan. As the water is absorbed, the polenta porridge will begin to pull from the sides of the pan. Taste-testing the porridge, be sure that the meal is cooked through to a semi-softness. If not, add more water and continue to stir until it is absorbed. Taste-test again. Take from heat and let sit, covered, for a moment.

    When the porridge has cooled you can either spread it thinly in a baking sheet or spoon dollops of the polenta and thin out each spoonful. Bake at 375 degrees F for approximately 10 minutes. Add more time for more thickly spread polenta. Remove with a spatula when cooled.

    At this point, you can continue the bruschetta or add the following step to increase the texture and appeal of the polenta cakes.

    In light oil, quick-fry both sides of the polenta cakes, draining on paper towel.

    Slice whole tomatoes, sprinkle with a good-quality, first cold-pressed olive oil, chopped cilantro, basil, and pepper. Top with polenta with the tomato slices, oil and seasonings and finish the dress with finely sliced mozzarella. Place under a broiler until cheese melts. Serve.

  • Yields: 1 dozen servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
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