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Polenta Fritter Cakes with Semi-Dried Tomatoes

Polenta Fritter Cakes with Semi-Dried Tomatoes


  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth, or water

  • 3 cups whole milk

  • 2 cups quick-cooking polenta (such as Bob's Red Mill)

  • 1 ½ cups (6 oz.) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and/or Pecorino

  • 2 tbsp. EVOO, plus more for drizzling, or good butter

  • 1 tbsp. coarsely ground black pepper

  • 2 tsp. honey plus some to drizzle

  • ¾ cup drained semi-dried tomatoes, chopped

  • Nonaerosol cooking spray

  • 6 cups baby or wild arugula

  • 1 lemon, halved

  • ¼ cup celery leaves or fresh parsley, chopped


Step 1

Heat the broth or water and milk in a large saucepot until boiling. Whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue whisking for 2 to 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy; remove from heat. Stir in cheese, EVOO or butter, black pepper, and honey until combined. Season with salt, then fold in tomatoes. Transfer to a parchment-lined 17-by-10-inch baking pan or two 9-by-9-inch baking dishes, spreading into an even layer. Set in freezer to chill for 15 minutes.

Step 2

Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or nonstick pan over medium heat. Cut the firm polenta into 12 equal slices and use your hands to make free-form fritters about the size of your palm (about 3 inches in diameter). Spray one side of the fritters generously with cooking spray and place 6 in pan sprayed-side down. Fry until golden, 2 to 3 minutes; spray the top side of the fritters, then flip and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, until golden. Repeat with remaining fritters. Transfer to a wire rack or a paper-towel- lined plate.

Step 3

Toss arugula with juice of half the lemon, a drizzle of EVOO, and salt. Serve 3 fritters with arugula alongside and garnish with celery leaves or parsley. Cut remaining lemon half into small wedges and serve with meal.