There is no way your barbecue will ever be the same again once you’ve made this Polenta Tart. It is my attempt to completely glam up “Pap en Sous”. The direct translation of “Porridge and Sauce” – a staple side dish found at many South African barbecues of cooked mielie meal (quite similar to polenta) with a chunky sauce of cooked tomatoes, onion and spices.
The idea came from Antipasto Polenta Tart I saw on Taste.com.au and was inspired to use it as a way to turn Pap en Sous on its head so to speak. Instead of a sauce, keep the ingredients separate and whole and give the base a bit of a luxury makeover by using polenta and baking it in a form rather than just a big spoonful of it.
You make the polenta as you usually would (a good dose of butter and some grated pecorino or parmesan cheese mandatory!), pour it in a springform quiche pan and bake it to form the base of your tart.
The toppings are entirely up to you. I so think however the pesto, roasted tomatoes, red onion, basil and torn bocconcini is a must and forms a good base of flavour. As the pesto forms part of the base, use the best quality you can afford. I have to admit I recently made some pesto for the first time in a quite a while and goodness, it is so much better than what you can buy in the supermarket. And you know exactly what is in it so if you have the time (and it just takes 15 minutes max), make your own pesto.
The rest of the toppings can be anything from roasted aubergine slices, artichokes, olives, charred peppers, anything that takes your fancy. If you have a fab deli or farmer’s market close by go raid it for some delicious and interesting toppings.
The tart can also be served on its own as a meal. Keep it vegetarian or add some salami, fried chorizo or grilled boerewors to keep the meat eaters happy and content.
This recipe first appeared in Food and Home Entertaining
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 ½ cups instant polenta
- 100g grated parmesan
- 2 tbsp thyme leaves
- Sea salt and ground black pepper to season
- 130g shop bought or homemade pesto
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 15 chargrilled aubergine slices
- 15 pitted kalamata olives
- 15 pieces of marinated artichoke hearts
- 15 strips charred or pickled sweet peppers
- 10 sundried tomato halves, halved
- 10 pieces bocconcini, torn
- fresh basil leaves
- Preheat the oven to 200°C
- Grease a 27cm loose-bottomed quiche pan
- Place the stock and water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer
- Add the polenta while whisking constantly
- Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10minutes until thickened
- Add the parmesan and thyme, season and stir while on the heat until well combined
- Pour into the quiche pan and bake for 25 minutes until slightly crisp on the top
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the pan
- Carefully remove from the pan, place on a serving platter and spread the top with the pesto
- Arrange the rest of the ingredients on top of the tart and serve immediately
A few more of my favourite entertaining recipes for the barbecue: