We enjoyed a dish similar to this test kitchen recipe at brunch about 2 years back and haven’t been able to shake it since. We've had to ask ourselves if it was it the bottomless mimosas enjoyed outside in the middle of summer with the Yampa River rushing by us that made it so good, or if it was it really that good. We had to recreate it from memory and find out for once and for all.
In a perfect world, we envision ourselves running out to our garden in the morning to harvest some cherry tomatoes + fresh thyme, sage and rosemary etc...but a 52 day growing season makes it really hard to grow an abundance of anything, much less tomatoes here in Steamboat. We’ll take the next best thing, which is sourcing our fresh vegetables from Elkstone Farm. They’ve figured out a pretty amazing workaround to that 52 day growing season thing with their stunning hoop houses and greenhouse.
Though we paired this dish with oven roasted tomatoes, we could see how using any seasonal vegetable would work like a dream here, be it sautéed zucchini, caramelized onions, roasted tri-colored peppers...you get the idea. Use the creamy polenta with the zing of gruyere cheese as your blank canvas and work up from there. Don’t dig a poached egg? Fry up an over-hard egg. Prefer to leave your eggs in coop with your favorite local egg lady? Some lightly pan fried tofu would top this dish off perfectly. Have some bread lying around? Toast it up until it’s good and crunchy and use it to sop up the gooey + tasty bits off the plate.
Verdict? It was as good as we remembered! The slowly roasted herby garlicy tomatoes really complimented the smooth + flavorful polenta and the icing on the cake was the locally sourced poached egg! This breakfast really blew our skirts up...but we are curious, is this something you would order for breakfast? We are constantly striving to develop recipes that you love and would enjoy. Your feedback is mucho appreciated!
unsalted butter [ 5 tbsp, divided ]
diced onion [ 1/4 cup ]
minced garlic [ 1 large clove ]
water [ 1 cup ]
milk [ 2 cups, whole or almond ]
yellow cornmeal [ 1 cup ]
salt and pepper
mixed herbs, dried or fresh [2 tbsp ]
gruyere cheese [ 1/4th cup ]
olive oil [ drizzle ]
cherry tomatoes [ 1 small handful or roughly 1 cup ]
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Toss tomatoes on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and salt + pepper. [ Sometimes we like to toss whole garlic cloves in with the tomatoes, too! Be careful with these guys as they can burn quickly and ruin the magic of the roasted tomatoes. Pull them out early if they are good and golden ahead of the tomatoes being done. ] Roast in oven for 45-90 minutes. Be sure to toss every 20 minutes or so to prevent burning. You want the tomatoes to pop and the juices to mix with seasonings...your house will smell like heaven! Meanwhile, melt half your butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook your onion + garlic in melted butter until they are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add milk + water and bring to a simmer. Slowly pour in your cornmeal, whisking constantly. Once thickened, add your seasonings; salt, pepper and mixed herbs. Add in the rest of your butter and gruyere cheese, reserving some cheese to add to your plated dish. Top polenta with roasted tomatoes + poached egg [ we are working on a poached egg test kitchen blog post, so until then, reference one of the many resources online to poach the perfect egg. We are still getting there! ] Sprinkle with cheese + a pinch of fresh herbs if you’ve got them! e.n.j.o.y.