Polenta Tomato Tart

by Aug 16, 2023

When it’s fresh tomato season here in Montana, I’m usually satisfied with a plate of sliced tomatoes and mozzarella or a B.L.T, but this tart is excellent for when you want something extra special.

Published in Edible Bozeman, Summer 2022; photo by Samantha Lord of Lord & Co.

Polenta Tomato Tart

makes one 9- or 10-inch tart, serving 4–6; adapted from Michele Anna Jordan's Tomato & Polenta Tart in The Good Cook's Book of Tomatoes


  • olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup dry polenta/coarsely ground cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces cheese (cheddar, jack, or other mild to medium-sharp cheese)
  • 1 ounce Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded


  1. Lightly oil the inside bottom and sides of a 9- or 10-inch tart pan or pie plate with olive oil and set aside. Place the water in a saucepan and stir in the polenta and salt. Stirring constantly, bring to boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer for 10 minutes.

  2. Add the butter and flour and stir for 5 more minutes to thicken. Scoop into prepared tart pan or pie plate and use a spatula to smooth into a crust.

  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover the surface of the polenta with a layer of basil leaves. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half or thirds and arrange on top of the basil in 2 layers, topping each layer with a sprinkling of salt, pepper, and half of the cheese.

  4. Bake for 35 minutes, until tart is hot and bubbly.

  5. Optionaly, serve with homemade or best-quality mayonnaise blended with remaining basil leaves and a few drops of fresh lemon juice.

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