The colorful salsa that tops this savory bruschetta is best with fresh basil and ripe summer tomatoes. During the winter, substitute a cup of chopped plum tomatoes or grape tomatoes instead. Avoid using the large red tomatoes from the grocery store since they usually have little flavor during the winter months.
Oxmoor House OCTOBER 2009
Combine water, grits, and salt in a medium, heavy saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes or until grits are very thick, stirring often. (If using polenta, add polenta to boiling water, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 14 minutes or until very thick.) Remove grits from heat, and stir in Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and pepper; pour out onto a flat, heat-resistant surface or baking sheet. Spread to about 3/8-inch thickness (10-inch square); allow to cool completely (about 1 hour) so that the mixture is firm to the touch.
Preheat oven to 350°. Once grits are very firm, cut into rounds with a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven; flip rounds over, and brush other sides with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Return to oven, and bake 10 more minutes. Remove and cool completely. Top rounds with salsa, and serve immediately.
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