6 cups hot, cooked polenta*
2 medium zucchini
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced thick
2 cups tangy tomato bruschetta topping (recipe follows)
3 oz. Parmesan, shaved
• Brush the bottom and sides of a jelly roll pan with a thin coat of olive oil. Pour the hot polenta into the pan. Use a wooden spoon to shape it into a ½-inch thick slab. Cover the pan with a loose piece of aluminum foil and refrigerate until cold, approximately 2 hours or overnight.
• Light a charcoal grill with the grate 4 inches above the coals, or turn a propane grill to medium-high heat.
• Remove the ends from the zucchini, but leave the skin on. Slice in half crosswise, then lengthwise into ¼- to ½-inch slices. Lightly brush the zucchini slices with olive oil on both sides, and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Grill over direct heat for 5 minutes per side, until soft and lightly charred. Remove from the grill and keep warm.
• Remove the polenta from the refrigerator, and use a sharp knife to cut it into 8 equal squares. (The polenta will feel cold and rubbery – don’t worry.)
• Lightly brush 1 side of the polenta slices with olive oil and place them on the hot grill grate, oiled side down. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the bottom is a golden yellow color and the texture feels like toast.
• Brush the top of the polenta slices with a thin coat of oil and flip the polenta. Place a slice of mozzarella in the center of each square and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the second side is golden and the mozzarella is melted.
• To assemble, layer 2 slices of zucchini and 2 tablespoons of bruschetta topping on each piece of polenta. Garnish with shaved Parmesan. Serve immediately.
To make it vegan: Prepare the polenta with olive oil instead of butter. Substitute pesto (without Parmesan) for the mozzarella. Garnish with thin strips of fresh basil.
* Prepare according to the” hard polenta” directions on the package.