Use ‘Em Up: Polenta Tart with Heirloom Tomatoes and Balsamic Onions

Bag items: heirloom cherry tomatoes, sweet walla walla onions, fresh basil, garlic, butter

Sad story: I used to dislike tomatoes. I know, it’s hard to believe. However, I am a convert now and credit heirloom tomatoes for the conversion! They are definitely my favorite and fortunately, they are in season now! If you aren’t a tomato fan and haven’t tried heirlooms, I’d encourage you to do so! The ones in your bag are fresh from the farm and have a mildly sweet flavor that is delicious on its own even.

If you already love tomatoes and are wondering what to do with all of the delicious heirloom cherry tomatoes in your bag, look no further! This yummy, low-calorie polenta tart is a perfect way to enjoy these little beauties when they are in season. It is pretty enough to serve to guests, and it’s healthy so that you don’t have to worry about a heavy, calorie-laden meal in the hot summer weather. Plus, just one medium-sized heirloom tomato contains about 20 percent of your recommended vitamin A and 40 percent of your recommended vitamin C for the day.  So many reasons to enjoy it!

The tart might look complicated, but I promise it’s not! You simply mix up the polenta on the stovetop, bake it, add the topping, and you’re all set!


Pour the polenta into the prepared tart pan

heirloom_polenta pour

Sweat the onions out!

heirloom_onions thin

Mix up the balsamic onions with tomatoes and basil


Bake just a few more minutes in the oven, garnish with basil, and you have this!


Polenta Tart with Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes and Balsamic Onions

2 c. cornmeal

¾ tsp. salt

6 c. water

½ c. grated parmesan

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 medium-sized sweet yellow onions, thinly sliced

1 tbsp. butter

½ tsp. salt

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 pints heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved (or you can do 1 pint heirloom, 1 pint cherry to give more color to the tart)

½ c. fresh basil, julienned, plus about 2 Tbsp. for topping/garnish


  • Add salt to water and bring to a boil on the stove. When it reaches a boil, turn heat down to medium-low, and slowly add polenta, stirring or whisking to ensure smooth consistency.  Once the mixture is smooth, add the parmesan and the garlic.  When it gets to a moderately thick consistency (see photo), take off heat and pour into prepared tart pan with removable bottom. I used an 8″x11’”pan. Bake at 375 for 28 minutes.
  • While the polenta is baking, add the butter to a hot pan and once melted, add the onions and salt. Cook approximately 10-15 minutes at low heat to draw out the moisture and brown the onions.
  • When the onions are nearly done, add balsamic vinegar, and cook another 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat.
  • Stir the basil, tomatoes, and onions together, then cover the polenta with the mixture and place back in the oven for 8 more minutes at 375.
  • Garnish with additional basil, and enjoy!

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