It was one of those days. I needed some sort of dinner inspiration (read nudge) and feeling too lazy to leave the house (I had already been out), I leaned forward to inspect the contents of the fridge and noticed a jar of sun-dried tomatoes right at the back. I usually keep these sort of condiments closer to the front…things in the back tend to get lost or worse, have gone past their expiry and start growing some interesting fungus within! I had shrimp in the freezer and polenta (cornmeal) in the pantry. These would go perfectly with sun-dried tomatoes but I needed to ‘spice’ up the tomatoes – just a bit. Sun-dried tomato relish, of sorts, sprang to mind. After surveying the contents of the refrigerator, I finally felt I had enough ingredients to pull it all together.
As tempting as it might be to pick up store-bought polenta, consider making your own. It is easily made and takes 20 to 30 minutes to cook. When its finished, add butter, chopped herbs and cheese for optimum flavoring. Pour polenta onto a greased plate and let cool. When it’s cool, it’s ready and can be used as a base for pizza, cut into polenta fries, grilled etc. Once you make it you’ll find it difficult to go back ready-made. For more home made polenta recipes, click here.
Serves 4 to 6 as a side
8 to 12 medium-sized shrimp, peeled and sautéed until pink and golden (keep warm)
firm polenta (already cooked), cut into rounds
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed), drained and chopped
handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
splash of olive oil
small shallot, minced
1/4 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
- In a bowl combine relish ingredients. Allow to sit 15 to 20 minutes to allow flavors to develop.
- Preheat broiler.
- Cut polenta into 3-inch rounds using a cookie cutter or the top of a glass. Spray olive oil on the top and bottom of each polenta round. Place on a baking tray and broil until tops are bubbling and starting to brown. Remove from Oven.
- Arrange a spoonful or so of sun-dried tomato relish on top of the polenta round topped with shrimp. Drizzle with juice, if any, from the relish.