36 small cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
5 c water
2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 c (6 oz) polenta
2/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 c pesto
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
For tartlets: Rinse 3 mini muffin pans (12 cups per pan) with cold water; shake off excess water. Mix tomatoes, garlic, and oil in medium bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let stand 15 minutes. Arrange 4 tomato quarters, cut side up, in bottom of each prepared muffin cup.
Bring water and salt to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to medium and cook until polenta thickens, whisking almost constantly, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until polenta is tender, whisking often, about 10 minutes longer. Whisk in cheese, pesto and butter. Season polenta to taste with pepper.
Spoon enough polenta into muffin cups to cover tomatoes and fill cups. Cover pans with waxed paper; let stand until polenta is firmly set, at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Cut around each tartlet to loosen, remove from muffin pans and arrange, tomato side up, on platter. Top each with dollop of basil mayonnaise.
1 c mayonnaise
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
¾ c lightly packed torn fresh basil leaves, some lemon basil if available
Combine mayo, basil and lemon juice in processor, blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to small bowl, cover, refrigerate. (Can be made 2 days ahead, keep refrigerated.)
Makes 36 Tartlets