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Impress Your Friends with This Polenta Crostini Recipe from Spiaggia’s Chef

Polenta squares are a tastier, fancier base for crostini than bread. This dish is deceptively simple to make.

Photo: Jeff Marini

Crostini have so many possible toppings, you may forget that the base can be changed, too. These polenta squares are a clever bread swap. “You’ll find polenta crostini topped with seafood all over Venice,” says Spiaggia chef-partner Tony Mantuano. Here, silky gravlax does the trick.

Tony Mantuano’s Polenta Crostini with Gravlax

Yield:4
Total time:1 hour 45 minutes

4 cups Water
½ tsp. Salt
¾ cup White corn polenta
  Olive oil, as needed
1 lb. Thinly sliced gravlax
  Truffle oil, as needed
15 Dill flowers

1. In a medium saucepan, bring salted water to a boil. Add the polenta slowly, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Lower the heat and stir frequently until all the water is absorbed and the polenta is smooth and creamy, 30 to 40 minutes.

2. Pour polenta onto a lightly oiled 13-by-9-inch jelly roll pan. Use a spatula to shape polenta into a 10-by-6-inch rectangle, approximately half an inch thick. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

3. Cut the chilled polenta into 2-inch squares, creating some space between each piece. (At this point, polenta can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

4. Adjust the oven rack to the top position and heat the broiler to high. Broil the polenta squares until browned, about 10 minutes.

5. Drape 1 slice of gravlax over each square. Drizzle with truffle oil, garnish with dill flowers, and serve.

Pro tip: Dip edges of gravlax in beet juice for extra color (as in photo).

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