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How To Prepare Baked Polenta with Feta, Béchamel and Za'atar Tomatoes ?


Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 1 hr 30 mins

Serving: 4-6



  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3¼ cups whole milk
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1¼ cups water
  • 1¼ cups quick-cook polenta
  • 2⅓ ounces Pecorino Romano, roughly grated (2/3 cup)
  • 6⅓ ounces Greek feta, roughly crumbled
  • 1/4 ounce oregano sprigs (try to use the softer sprigs)

  Za'atar Tomatoes

  • 14 ounces datterini or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons za'atar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup oregano leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  For The Za'atar Tomatoes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Make the za'atar tomatoes: Put the tomatoes, oil, vinegar, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper into a medium baking dish, roughly 12-by-8 inches. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until the tomatoes have just burst but aren't completely falling apart.
  3. Remove the foil, gently stir in the za'atar and sugar, and let cool completely. Once cool, stir in the herbs (gently, so as not to break up the tomatoes). Keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

  For The Polenta

  1. Turn the heat up to 475 F. Line a large baking sheet, roughly 16-by-12 inches in size, with parchment paper.
  2. Put half the butter into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the flour and cook, whisking continuously, for 30 seconds or until it smells like popcorn. Slowly pour in 1½ cups of the milk, whisking continuously to avoid any lumps, then add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper, turn the heat down to medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until quite thick and no longer floury tasting. Set aside and cover with a piece of parchment paper, to prevent a skin from forming.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the polenta by first putting the remaining 1⅔ cups of milk, the water, 1½ tablespoons of the butter, 1¼ teaspoons of salt and a good grind of pepper into a medium sauté pan (or saucepan) over medium-high heat. Once it gently bubbles, turn the heat down to medium-low, slowly add the polenta, whisking continuously to incorporate, and cook for 2 minutes, to thicken. Add the Pecorino and the remaining 1½ tablespoons of butter and stir with a spatula until incorporated. Quickly transfer to the prepared baking sheet and spread out in a large oblong shape, about 1/2-inch thick and 15 inches in length. Spoon the béchamel over the top and spread it so it covers the surface, leaving a 1/2-inch rim exposed around the edges. Top evenly with the feta and the oregano sprigs and bake for 22 minutes, or until golden and bubbling on top and starting to brown around the edges. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

  To Serve

  1. Spoon about half the za'atar tomatoes on top of the baked polenta, serving the rest in a bowl alongside. Use a pizza cutter to easily cut the polenta into slabs and serve warm.

Posted by Coba Grills and we thank Today for this delicious recipe and the recipe link