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.