You can keep the polenta warm over very low heat for up to 30 minutes; stir in a little water or milk if it gets too thick. Have a guest serve the polenta while you're carving the lamb.
6 cups cherry tomatoes (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup sliced shallots (about 3 medium)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups 1% low-fat milk
2 cups water
1 cup dry polenta
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shaved fresh Parmesan cheese
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°.
Cut several slits in the bottom of each tomato; place, stem sides down, in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375° (do not remove tomatoes from oven); bake 45 minutes or until browned. Cover and let stand 10 minutes.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Add sugar; sauté 5 minutes. Add wine; reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Remove from heat; stir in tomatoes. Cover; set aside.
Combine the milk and water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and gradually add the polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cover and cook over medium-low heat 2 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt; cover and let stand 5 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Top the polenta with the tomato compote and Parmesan cheese.
This is an amazing dish--easy, beautiful, delicious! Although it requires a bit of time, it is pretty much a foolproof, set-it-and-forget-it type of recipe. I have made this with grape tomatoes, which are smaller than cherry tomatoes and roasted them for the same amount of time specified in the recipe. I also halve the recipe, and it serves 3-4 perfectly. Every time I make it, it turns out great, and looks better than the picture.