Polenta with Fresh Mozzarella and Avocado

  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup medium-ground cornmeal
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb or more fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 large avocado
  • Salsa of choice
  • Large bunch of fresh arugula

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and slowly whisk in the cornmeal, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until thick, about 30-40 minutes.  Stir in 1 Tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer the polenta into a lightly oiled, shallow 10” square baking dish and spread evenly.  Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.  Cut the polenta into 16 squares and carefully remove from pan.  Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add polenta squares in one layer (you will need to do a couple of batches).  Cook until golden brown on one side and then flip over to cook second side.  Top with fresh mozzarella slices, season with freshly ground black pepper then cover skillet to melt cheese.  When cheese is melted and bottom is crisp, remove from pan, top with avocado slices and your favorite salsa.  Serve on a bed of fresh arugula if desired.