Yes, it’s another Zakito dish – if you haven’t figured out by now, my biggest and best critic is my hubby. 🙂 This is another one of his favorites that he has hassled me daily to post. It’s basically a crispy corn cake topped with a layer of pesto, shredded “mozzerelIa”, and seasoned tomatoes, surrounded by a balsamic reduction sauce. It’s basically a super faaaancy take on bruschetta. I hope you all enjoy it!
Time from start to plate: 45 minutes
For the corn cake:
1 Cup of cornmeal
Salt & pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
For the pesto:
4 Handfuls of fresh basil
1 Clove of garlic
1-2 tbs of tahini
Pine nuts (optional but good pesto ALWAYS should have pine nuts….just sayin)
Salt & pepper
For the seasoned tomato topping:
2 Roma tomatoes
Salt & pepper
For the balsamic reduction:
1 cup of balsamic vinegar
You will also need vegan mozeralla – I like the brands Follow Your Heart, Daiya and Vegan Rella.
This is how we do:
Start by preparing the pesto. In a food processor, add the fresh basil, garlic, tahini, and pine nuts. Drizzle about 3 tbs of olive oil (you will need to add more after tasting to see if it’s not moist enough). Add some salt and pepper and blend. Add more olive oil or salt and pepper to taste.
Next prepare the seasoned tomatoes. Chop up the roma tomatoes and place in a bowl. Season with the garlic, salt & pepper to taste. Don’t oversalt as these will be placed on top of the pesto & corn cake with cheese. Set this mixture aside and let it sit while you continue to prep everything else. If you like, you can add other herbs to this mixture.
Next prepare the balsamic reduction by placing the 1 cup of balsamic vinegar in a small pot. Set the heat to high and star whisking. Continue whisking even when the vinegar starts to boil. Keep doing this until the mixture reduces by half or gets thick and sweet enough to your liking. Be careful not to let it burn. Remove from heat and set aside as you continue to assemble the rest of the stack.
Finally, prepare the corn cake. Take the cup of cornmeal and add it to a bowl. Add garlic powder, chili powder, salt & pepper. Again you can add additional dry herbs here for extra taste. Slowly add a little bit of hot water until you make a thick paste. Heat up some vegetable oil in pan. Mold some corn meal mixture into a round cake abou 3-4 inches wide in diameter, with your hands. Once the oil has heated up, carefully place the corn cakes in the pan. Keep frying until you get a nice golden brown on each side. Remove from heat and pat with paper towel.
When ready to serve, place a corn cake on the center of a plate, Add a layer of pesto and then sprinkle some mozeralla shreds. Add a scoop or two of the tomato seasoning and then either drizzle on top or on the sides the balsamic reduction sauce. ENJOY! 🙂