This savory corn tart, guys – you have to try it. It tastes so rich, so decadent, that you won’t believe it’s both vegan and gluten free. While it looks impressive, it’s actually shockingly easy to make. Other than making the polenta, most of what you’re doing is shoving tomatoes and tarts in the oven and forgetting about them.
I always think summer produce is amazing – amazing – but it doesn’t often lend itself to savory main dishes. You can make peach and plum cobblers galore; you can throw together a caprese salad; you can sauté some zucchini in garlic or toss a blueberry, strawberry, mint salad, and these are all wonderful, delicious things – but ofter I want something heartier.
I want something I could serve to a group of people for dinner that would fill each of them up. Something that would capture the bright, bursting juiciness I associate with summer, with a heartiness more often found in cooler months. The difference between an in-season tomato and an out-of-season one is so starkly apparent that I don’t buy fresh tomatoes outside of summer, and try to get my fill during these few bountiful months, so I knew tomato would be one of the ingredients for this dish.
The basil was a no-brainer, adding that element of freshness to lighten the heartiness we’re going for. I’d long wanted to experiment with a gluten-free, polenta based tart, and when I spotted some gorgeous fresh corn at one of my favorite farmer’s market stalls, the idea solidified: a beautiful tart made of polenta studded throughout with sugary, juicy bits of summer corn, topped with a savory sweet layer of roasted garlic, decadently umami cherry tomatoes, roasted until they caramelize and their juices begin to ooze out, topped with garden fresh basil.
If you’re feeling even lazier though, this would be equally as good (if not as visually impressive) as a simple summer sweet corn polenta topped with roasted cherry tomatoes and basil: simply skip forming the polenta into a tart and the second round in the oven.
- 2 baskets cherry tomatoes, de-stemmed, washed and dried
- 1 bulb of garlic, cloves separated but still inside papery layer
- High heat oil of choice (I used avocado, but coconut oil and ghee also work great)
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup polenta
- 3 ears of corn, kernels cut off
- 1 bunch basil, washed with stems removed and rough chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- On a large baking sheet, toss cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves with oil and salt to evenly coat
- Then put in oven for 30 – 40 minutes, or until cherry tomatoes are turning brown and the garlic can be squished with your fingers; set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, bring water and salt to boil.
- Whisk in polenta, whisking occasionally until it’s thickened before reducing heat to low.
- Cook for 3 more minutes, whisking occasionally, then add corn kernels.
- Cook for 5 more minutes, continue to stir occasionally, then remove from heat. If you’re not making the tart, stop here, topping polenta with tomato and roughly chopped basil and serving.
- If you are making the tart, set the polenta aside to cool slightly (I sometimes stick it in the fridge) and thicken up (about 15 – 20 min).
- Press polenta tightly into a springform tart pan then place in 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until edges are beginning to crisp up.
- Remove from oven and squeeze roasted garlic from cloves onto the base polenta layer, and spread to evenly distribute.
- Top with roasted cherry tomatoes and return to oven for 7 – 10 minutes, or until heated through.
- Top with basil and serve (while it’s great warm from the oven, it’s also awesome cold for breakfast).