about 1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto,
cut into thin strips (3/4 cup)
2 roasted red bell peppers cored, seeded,
peeled, and cut into thin strips
about 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
polenta: In a medium-size saucepan, bring the water, stock, or broth to
a boil over high heat. Add the salt if using water. Reduce the heat to
moderately slow and gradually whisk in the cornmeal in a steady stream.
Stir the polenta with a wooden spoon until it begins to pull away from
the sides and bottom of the pan in a solid mass, 15-20 minutes for the
cornmeal or 5 minutes for the polenta. Stir in the rosemary and pepper.
Line a 9x12-inch cake pan with a sheet of plastic wrap. Pour the hot
polenta into the pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and let it cool
slightly. Cover the pan with another sheet of plastic wrap and
refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
topping: In a skillet, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the
garlic and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften and turn golden,
about 1 minutes. Do not let the garlic burn. Add the rosemary and
prosciutto and cook, stirring, another minute. Remove the skillet from
the heat and reserve. Make the polenta triangles: Preheat the oven to
450 degrees. Remove the polenta from the pan and plastic wrap and place
on a clean cutting bowl. Cut the polenta into 12 triangles about 4
inches long. Very lightly grease a baking sheet with oil and place the
triangles on the sheet. Do not crowd the baking sheet; the polenta
triangles should not touch.
polenta for 5 minutes. Turn the polenta over with a wide spatula and
spread the topping on each triangle. Place several strips of red pepper
on each triangle and sprinkle with the cheese and black pepper. Continue
roasting until the cheese melts and bubbles, about 5 minutes. Serve hot
or at room temperature.
servings as an appetizer or 12 servings as a side dish
Polenta is a
great way to use up roasted leftovers - everything from vegetables to
poultry and garlic. Cornmeal is whisked into simmering stock and then
the thickened mixture is placed in a cake pan to cool. Once the polenta
is cool and firm, it is cut into triangles, topped with leftover, and
roasted at a high temperature. The topping we use here is a colorful
combination of roasted peppers, garlic, and slivers or prosciutto. But
like a good pizza dough, you can use polenta to create any appealing
needs at least 2 hours to chill before it can be cut into triangles, so
plan your time accordingly. You can make the polenta and the topping a
day ahead of time and assemble the dish at the last minute. These
triangles make a great first course or hors d'oeuvre. We also like to
serve them with roast chicken.