Baked Polenta & Tomato Salad

Baked Polenta & Tomato Salad

TOMATOES

They have something hard to get in any other food–lycopene. And, because of this, tomatoes can help protect skin from UV rays, lower cholesterol, and even prevent some cancers.

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon honey

2-3 bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 ripe tomatoes

18 ounces packaged of prepared polenta

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt & pepper

fresh basil leaves

In a small pot, combine the balsamic vinegar, honey, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes. Stir until honey is dissolved into the vinegar. Over medium heat, allow the vinegar to reach a low boil. Cook for about 10 minutes until it has reduced by half and the consistency of honey.

Allow to cool, remove bay leaves.

Slice the polenta into thin (1/4 inch) slices. Brush each side with a very light covering of olive oil.  Sprinkle salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, until the edges begin to become crispy.

Assemble the salads. Layer thick slices of fresh tomatoes, baked polenta, and basil leaves. Top with desired amount of vinegar/honey reduction.

Lisa Lewis is the author of Healthy Happy Cooking. Her cooking skills have been a part of First Place for Health wellness weeks and other events for many years. She provided recipes for 14 of the First Place for Health Bible studies and is a contributing author in Better Together and Healthy Holiday Living. She partners with community networks, including the Real Food Project, to provide free healthy cooking classes.

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