Polenta With Cherry Tomatoes & Halloumi

Polenta With Cherry Tomatoes & Halloumi

This Polenta With Cherry Tomatoes & Fried Halloumi is a delicious summer dinner. This dish is super easy to prepare and the perfect comfort food. Creamy polenta topped with soft cherry tomatoes and crispy halloumi make an amazing summer flavor explosion.

This summer I have been obsessed with pan cooked tomatoes. I ate pasta with cherry tomatoes several times a week. However, I wanted to switch things up a bit and so I created this delicious summer dish. Deciding for an alternative for the pasta was easy. Polenta is a big thing here during the summer especially in the Italian part of Switzerland and goes perfectly with the cherry tomatoes. However, the dish was still boring with just those two components. Then I remembered how my brother always builds his dishes and realized, the protein part is missing. A quick look into the fridge and I grabbed the halloumi right away. I seriously can not get enough of this cheese during summer and have one in the fridge at all times.

Ingredients for Polenta With Cherry Tomatoes & Fried Halloumi

  • Vegetable broth: We use broth to cook the polenta in as it will already give flavor to it. If you don’t have vegetable broth you can simply use water and throw in some seasoning of your choice afterwards.

  • Butter: Helps making the polenta nice and smooth. Pro tip: Use a herb butter instead of plain butter to get some extra spices in.

  • Polenta: Polenta is the base of this dish.

  • Salt & pepper: For the taste.

  • Italian herbs: I have a pre-made herb mix. You can make your own by mixing the following dried herbs together: thyme, oregano, basil, sage and parsley.

  • Halloumi: The halloumi cheese is our main protein component here and I mean how can you not eat halloumi during summer?!

  • Shallot: We will need this for flavor when cooking the tomatoes.

  • Garlic: the same as with the shallots – flavor!

  • Cherry tomatoes: The perfect summer produce which also goes so well with the polenta.

  • Rosemary: The rosemary is getting cooked with the cherry tomatoes and will give it a nice flavor.

  • Oil: We use the oil to cook the halloumi and cherry tomatoes in. You can use any oil of your choosing. I personally use olive oil or butter.

Additionally you can add some cheese (I recommend parmesan) to make the polenta extra creamy and give it some flavor.

How to make Polenta With Cherry Tomatoes & Fried Halloumi

Polenta

The Polenta needs the longest to make so we will start with that.

Get a big pot and fill it with 1l vegetable broth. Instead of the broth you can just use water and add more spices later.

Next add the butter to the pot and bring everything to a boil.

Once the liquid is boiling and the butter is completely melted add the polenta to the pot and turn down the heat to low. Let the polenta cook while constantly stirring to prevent the polenta from burning on the bottom.

When the polenta starts to thicken up (after about 15 minutes) add some salt, pepper and Italian spices (check above in the ingredients section what you need for the Italian spices mix). Turn off the heat, put the lid on and let everything sit while you make the halloumi and cherry tomatoes.

Additional step: If you want your polenta extra creamy and do not care about the additional calories I highly recommend mixing in some grated parmesan cheese into the polenta together with the seasoning. The more cheese you add the creamier and cheesier the polenta will get.

Polenta

Fried halloumi

After making the polenta we will now make the Halloumi.

First up, slice the halloumi into 0.5cm / about 1/4 inch slices.

In a large skilled heat 1 tbsp. oil on medium heat. Once the oil shimmers add the halloumi to the pan and cook it. You will want a nice golden crust on them. This should need about 4 minutes on each side. You can check if it is done by taking a piece and tasting it. The halloumi should be nice and soft with a crunchy crust and no longer be chewy. If it is still chewy keep cooking but make sure you do not burn the cheese.

As the halloumi is very salty you will not need any seasoning for it.

Add the halloumi to a plate and set aside. Cover it with aluminum foil if you wanna keep it warm.

Cherry Tomatos

In the same pan you just cooked the halloumi in you can now make the cherry tomatoes. We want to use the flavor that is still in the pan to get it into the cherry tomatos.

Add the other 2 tbsp. oil to the pan on medium heat. Yet again once the oil shimmers add the shallots and the grated garlic and let them sweat for 2 minutes to get nice and soft.

Next, add the whole cherry tomatoes and the rosemary sprig. Let everything cook on medium heat until the cherry tomatoes are nice and soft and the skin has popper open (just like in the picture below). Then add some salt and pepper to taste and remove the skillet from the heat and start assembling.

Pro tip: If your cherry tomatoes are not very juicy add some extra water to the mixture to get a nice juice mixed with the tomato juices.

Additional note: Depending on who I cook for I might use more cherry tomatoes. My dad and I are obsessed with in the skillet cooked cherry tomatoes and will each eat 250g alone lol.

Assemble:

I recommend using a bowl or plate with a high edge. The tomatoes have lots of nice juices you do not want to loose.

To the bottom of the bowl or plate add the polenta. Then the cherry tomatoes on top of the polenta and top everything off with the halloumi.

Additional: You can remove the rosemary and if you want you can add the green part of the rosemary (not the stem) on top of the tomatoes on the plate. Or you just add some fresh herbs of your choice.

Tip for fall time:

Add some sautéed mushrooms to this dish to give it some fall vibes or replace the cherry tomatoes with pumpkin. A big favorite of mine is adding chanterelles cooked in butter.

Cherry Tomato Polenta With Fried Halloumi

Polenta With Cherry Tomatoes & Fried Halloumi

This Polenta With Cherry Tomatoes & Fried Halloumi is the perfect summer dinner. Super easy to prepare and the summer comfort food!
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings
Calories 376 kcal

Equipment

  • Pot
  • Skillet

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 l vegetable broth see notes for alternative
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 250 g polenta
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Italian herbs check notes
  • 1 Halloumi
  • 1 shallot in cubes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 500 g cherry tomatoes
  • rosemary
  • 3 tbsp. oil

Instructions
 

Polenta

  • Add the bouillon and butter to a big pot and bring it to a boil.
  • Once boiling and the butter is completely melted add the polenta to the pot and turn down the heat to low.
  • Let the polenta cook while constantly stirring to prevent the polenta from burning on the bottom.
  • When the polenta starts to thicken up (about 20 minutes) add some salt, pepper and Italian spices. Turn off the heat, put the lid on and let everything sit.

Halloumi

  • After making the polenta we will now make the Halloumi.
    Slice the halloumi into 0.5cm / about ¼ inch slices.
  • In a large skilled heat 1 tbsp. oil on medium heat.
  • Once the oil shimmers add the halloumi to the pan and cook it. You will want a nice golden crust on them (needs about 4 minutes on each side). You can check if it is done by taking a piece and tasting it. The halloumi should be nice and soft with a crunchy crust and no longer be chewy. If it is still chewy keep cooking but make sure you do not burn the cheese.
  • Add the halloumi to a plate and set aside. Cover it with aluminum foil if you wanna keep it warm.

Cherry Tomatoes

  • To de same pan add the other 2 tbsp. oil and keep on medium heat.
  • Yet again once the oil shimmers add the shallots and the grated garlic and let them sweat for 2 minutes to get nice and soft.
  • Next, add the whole cherry tomatoes and the rosemary sprig to the pan. Let everything cook on medium heat until the cherry tomatoes are nice and soft and the skin has popped open (just like in the picture above).
  • Then add some salt and pepper to taste and remove the skillet from the heat and start assembling.

Assemble

  • I recommend using a bowl or plates with a high edge. The tomatoes have lots of nice juices you do not want to loose.
    To the bottom of the bowl or plate add the polenta. Then the cherry tomatoes on top of the polenta and top everything off with the halloumi.

Notes

  • Additional step for the polenta: If you want it extra creamy and do not care about the additional calories I highly recommend mixing in some grated parmesan cheese into the polenta together with the seasoning. The more cheese you add the creamier and cheesier the polenta will get.
 
  • Cherry tomatoes: Pro tip: If your cherry tomatoes are not very juicy add some extra water to the mixture to get a nice juice mixed with the tomato juices.
    Additional note: Depending on who I cook for I might use more cherry tomatoes. My dad and I are obsessed with in the skillet cooked cherry tomatoes and will each eat 250g alone lol.
 
  • You can remove the rosemary and if you want you can add the green part of the rosemary (not the stem) on top of the tomatoes on the plate. Or you just add some fresh herbs of your choice.
 
  • Tip for fall time: Add some sautéed mushrooms to this dish to give it some fall vibes or replace the cherry tomatoes with pumpkin. A big favorite of mine is adding chanterelles cooked in butter.

Nutrition

Calories: 376kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 7gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 1022mgPotassium: 393mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1285IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 28mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Savory, Summer
Did You Try This Recipe?I can’t wait for you to try this recipe. I’d love for you to leave a star rating. You can also share a picture with me by mentioning @ohsweetcultureshock or tag #ohsweetcultureshock!



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