The recipe really started out as just an idea for how to cook tomatoes in a new and interesting way since I’ve been getting them in every box lately. I mean I could just eat gazpacho every single time but that would get old I think. And I’ve already made 2 batches of gazpacho.
I love to braise things so I figured why not braise some tomatoes. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them but then I got this amazing piece of fish from Community Seafood and I got the idea to serve the tomatoes with the fish over polenta. I chose polenta because it’s what I had in my pantry. I mentioned that I have a very stocked pantry, which always has yellow corn meal in it. My mom happened to be in town visiting so I made this for us for lunch. I love cooking for my mom because she’s cooked for me for so much of my life and it’s nice to be able to do something nice for her. It also helps that she likes my cooking, which is a pretty amazing endorsement considering she’s such an amazing cook herself. I learned from the best.
- 5 small tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic, cut into very thin slices
- leaves from 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1 1/2 cups of olive oil
- 1 pound of halibut or other local white fish (it can really be anything except I wouldn’t do salmon or tuna or any super fatty fish)
- 1/2 cup of yellow corn meal
- 2 cups of water
- 4 Tablespoons of butter
- 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
- Remove stems from tomatoes and cut in half. Place cut side up in an oven safe baking dish. Pour in enough olive oil to come up half way on the tomatoes. Sprinkle garlic and rosemary over tomatoes and put them in the middle rack of the preheated oven.
- Roast for an hour turning the tomatoes over halfway thorugh. The tomatoes should be brown on top and at the edges.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly. They can be stored in the fridge for a couple weeks.
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and then pour in corn meal. Reduce the heat to medium and stir the corn meal until it thickens and gets to the consistency of a thick cake batter. Add in the butter and cheese. Taste it and add salt as needed. Cut the heat and let it rest while you cook the fish.
- Season halibut with salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add halibut and cook on each side for about 2 minutes. These instructions are for pretty thick halibut fillets, about an inch and a half thick. If you are doing thinner fillets then you will reduce this time accordingly. You want to get a nice sear on at least one side so if your fillets are thing you might only need a few seconds or a minute on the second side.
- To serve, put 1 cup of polenta on a plate and top it with a halibut filet and some braised tomatoes. Garnish with rosemary.
- NOTE: Serve the polenta hot! As it cools it turns solid. You can reheat it to get smooth again.