tomato basil sauce with polenta

All winter I long for days like today.

Days filled with flowers.

And carrots…..

And freshly cut lettuce.

I dream of tomatoes, corn, and basil during the darkest of times.  And now that summer is in full swing, I can hardly keep from bursting with joy.

Tonight’s recipe is pure summer.

Tomato-Basil Sauce with Polenta and a side of Cumin-Lime Quinoa Salad.  Amazing.

Lets start with the polenta.

Here is what ya need:

one package of cooked polenta log, cut into 1/2 inch rounds

3 cups of cherry tomatoes (I used red rounds and sung olds)

3-4 garlic cloves ( I used 4 because I love garlic!), thinly sliced

about 10 basil leaves, chopped

olive oil for drizzling

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425.

Grease a cookie sheet with oil.  Arrange polenta rounds on sheet.  Set aside.

Very crossly chop half the tomatoes.  The remaining tomatoes just chop in half.  Combine tomatoes with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil.

Using parchment paper, (not foil!) make a packet and place tomato mixture in it like so: (I stacked my parchment paper over one sheet of tin foil to make the packet easier to fold, but using just foil will react with the tomato acid)

Fold everything together and crimp the edges shut.

Bake the sauce and polenta for about 25-30 minutes.  Turning the polenta rounds once halfway through.

Server hot!

For the quinoa salad:

2 cups cooked quinoa

1/2 of a red onion, chopped

about 3/4  cup black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup fresh corn kernels

a handful or two of chopped fresh cilantro

1 medium-sized zucchini sliced into 1/4 inch cubes

Sautee onion for about 3 minutes in a large saucepan.  Add corn and zucchini.  Cook for about 2 more minutes.  Add beans.  Cook for about 3 more minutes.  Pour mixture into a bowl with the quinoa and drizzle with cumin-lime dressing. Chill for at least 1 hour, or serve at room temperature.  Garnish with cilantro.

Cumin-lime dressing

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

3 tsp cumin

2 tsp  red chili flakes

juice of 1 lime (plus zest from half)

1 tbs honey

Whisk all ingredients together.

Enjoy!

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