It makes an easy and pretty summer lunch or light dinner. Serve the tart with crispy green salad and some rosé (or the wine of your own choice).

Makes one 11-inch round tart


  • 1 tbsp butter (or substitute with another tablespoon of olive oil)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus extra for the tart pan
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or adjust to your own taste)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • scant tsp salt (adjust after polenta is done, most likely you’ll need to add more salt later)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (if you are not vegetarian, you can use chicken stock, or a combo of chicken stock and milk or even half-and-half for a very nice flavor)
  • 1 cup medium ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup crumbled soft goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely ground parmigiano
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil

For the topping:

  • 1 1/2 pints ( 3 cups) grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup finely ground parmigiano
  • 1/4 cup chiffonade basil


Generously spray an 11-inch round tart pan with removable bottom with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with medium-grind cornmeal (it adds pleasant crunch and prevents sticking).

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 425F.

In a large saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, pepper flakes, pepper, and salt. Sauté for a minute, stirring. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Take off the heat and add the cornmeal in a slow stream stirring constantly with a whisk. Return to the stove and cook over low heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is thick and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 20-30 minutes. Take it off the heat, stir in the goat cheese and parmigiano. Season with more salt and pepper if needed. Spread the mixture into the prepared tart pan, smoothing the surface with a wet offset spatula.

Top the polenta with the tomato halves. Scatter the cheese evenly over the tomatoes. Place the tart pan onto a baking sheet (to protect the oven from oil seeping) and slide into the preheated oven. Bake for about 20 minutes until the cheeses are melted. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the fresh basil. Cool the tart slightly in the tart pan on a cooling rack before unmolding. Carefully remove the sides of the pan, slice the polenta tart, and serve.

You can prepare the polenta in advance, pack it in the tart pan as described, cool it, and keep in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to bake (top with the tomatoes and cheese before baking). The baking time will take a few minutes more.