Golden Polenta Cakes with Roasted Tomatoes and Caper Berries Recipe

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Cooking with Seeds: 100 Delicious Recipes for the Foods You LoveThese supercheesy and rich cakes are creamy on the inside with an impossible-to-resist crispy outside. Serve with roasted pork chops or chicken or over sautéed kale for a vegetarian meal. Caper berries are the slightly larger fruit of a caper bush, while capers are the small immature buds. Look for them in specialty grocery stores or order a jar online. If you can’t find caper berries, substitute one tablespoon of capers. The polenta can be made, hardened, and cut into rounds two days in advance; store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1½ cups milk
  • ¾ cup quick cooking polenta
  • ¼ cup toasted hemp seeds
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1½ ounces Parmesan, grated
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut-up
  • 8 small tomatoes (about 1½ pounds), preferably on the vine
  • 0.33 cup caper berries
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
How to Make It
  1. Bring the milk and 1½ cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in the polenta and hemp seeds. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer, whisking constantly, until the polenta is soft and thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the polenta to an 8 x 8-inch baking dish and use a small offset spatula to smooth the surface. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the polenta (this will prevent a hard skin from forming). Chill until firm, 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  3. Drizzle the tomatoes, caper berries, oregano, and garlic with the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 2-quart baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until the tomatoes are soft, 14 to 16 minutes.
  4. While the tomatoes are roasting, crisp the polenta. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut the firm polenta into rounds. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add four of the polenta rounds and cook, without moving, until golden-brown and crisp, 7 to 9 minutes. Flip and cook until golden-brown and crisp on the second side, 7 to 9 minutes. Repeat with the remaining tablespoon oil and polenta rounds.
  5. Serve the polenta cakes with the tomatoes and caper berries, drizzled with any juices in the pan.

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