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Rosemary Roasted Tomatoes with Polenta

Rosemary Roasted Tomatoes with Polenta | A Couple Cooks

This recipe is one we developed as a cozy, romantic meal for our Valentine’s Day menu, but it truly works for any day, special or everyday. When we first started cooking, polenta seemed like such a glamorous food – though we didn’t even know what it was! Turns out it’s simply cornmeal, boiled and thickened into somewhat of a porridge. It’s Italian peasant food that tastes surprisingly savory, comforting and homey, while still maintaining an air of elegance.

We’ve combined this polenta with tomatoes roasted with rosemary, a dish we’ve been eating on and off all winter. We’d been preparing the tomatoes using an approximate method, and have finally gotten around to writing it down to share with you. We prefer the dish topped with a fried egg, which makes it even creamier and a bit more filling, but it’s also delicious without (as we’ve shown in the photograph).

This has been one of our favorites lately, as we wait out the long winter. What are some of your favorite comforting, homey dishes?

More with polenta:
Polenta with Swiss Chard and Garlic
Grilled Polenta with White Beans and Tomatoes
Vegetable Tamale Pies

Roasted Rosemary Tomatoes with Polenta
Serves: 4
What You Need
  • 2 28-ounce cans fire roasted whole tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1½ cups cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 4 eggs
What To Do
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Peel 4 garlic cloves and roughly slice them. Thoroughly drain the tomatoes, and slice them in half. In a bowl, toss the garlic and tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Roughly tear 4 sprigs of rosemary into a few large pieces and mix them into the tomatoes.
  3. Pour the tomatoes into a baking dish and roast for 45 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  4. Meanwhile, make the polenta: bring 6 cups water to boil in a medium saucepan. When the water boils, whisk in 1½ cups corn meal in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Continue whisking until the polenta begins to thicken (around 1 to 2 minutes). Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
  5. Reduce the heat so that the polenta bubbles slowly. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes until the cornmeal loses its raw flavor (taste every so often to check). Then turn off the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon butter, ¾ cup milk, a few pinches kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. (Cover to keep it warm before serving. If the polenta becomes too thick, stir in a bit more milk or water to loosen it up.)
  6. While the polenta cooks, fry the eggs in a skillet.
  7. Remove the rosemary pieces from the tomatoes prior to serving. To serve, place polenta in a bowl, then top with roasted tomatoes and a fried egg.


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  • Reply
    February 5, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I think this meal is pretty romantic. The deep burning red of tomatoes against the creamy grain of polenta, is hard to get wrong especially if you are cooking for a new mate.
    Also the lack of messy things means that you will still look good after eating. I hope you two have a lovely Val’s day too.

  • Reply
    Katrina @ WVS
    February 5, 2014 at 10:12 am

    I love the idea of roasted tomatoes. This recipe is lovely!

  • Reply
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    February 5, 2014 at 11:41 am

    i usually buy polenta tubes but making your own from scratch seems so easy. love the idea of fried eggs on top.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    What a great combination. Love this!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Produce on Parade
    February 5, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    I love polenta! A restaurant near me does a grilled polenta that is to die for!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2014 at 6:23 am

    I’ve never thought of roasting tinned tomatoes like this – what a clever idea! I love the sound of this dish, creamy and flavourful comfort food.

  • Reply
    Shelly @ Vegetarian 'Ventures
    February 6, 2014 at 8:40 am

    This looks divine! I usually make polenta with roasted vegetables at least once a week when I need a quick meal. I’ve never thought about roasting canned tomatoes versus getting some sad looking ‘fresh’ ones at the market (or… at least as ‘fresh’ as it comes for tomatoes in February in the Midwest). I bet they are SO much more flavorful with your method – great to know!

  • Reply
    Megan @ The Cooking Canvas
    February 6, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    I love how graceful and simple this dish is. I’ve already got these ingredients in the pantry. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Tieghan Gerard
    February 6, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    I love the combo of tomatoes, eggs and polenta. I t a favorite of mine and your version is gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Marni | Love and Duck Fat
    February 7, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Looks amazing! Pinned and tweeted!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Mmm, I can’t wait to make this. Rosemary is one of those comforting, perfect-for-winter herbs that I haven’t used enough lately! And is there anything a fried egg does not improve??

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    Happy Cooking! ~ Sonja & Alex