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Tomato and Polenta Summer Salad

Tomato and Polenta Summer Salad

Every year I plant a small 8 X 10 foot vegetable garden in our backyard. In the fall my Mom and I make her homemade spaghetti sauce with the tomatoes I have grown.  See the recipe for the non-canned version here.  Growing your own vegetables is both rewarding and exciting (it really is!).  Walking out in the evenings to pick fresh basil for pesto or cherry tomatoes for a salad feels so amazing and gives you a sense of accomplishment.  It’s the little things, right?

In previous years, almost every weekend in August and September my Mom and I spent a whole day making sauce in the heat of late summer.  Last year we started picking tomatoes as they ripen.  We blanch them to remove the skin and processing them in my Jamba Blender. We then freeze the “juice” until we are ready to make a large batch of sauce.  This allows us to wait until the cooler days of Fall to bottle.  Also, we have far less wasted tomatoes from over-ripening. 

For this weeks recipe, I wanted to use some of the beautiful tomatoes available from my garden!  Picked when ripe and warm from the sun, they are juicy and sweet.  You honestly cannot get better flavor from a tomato than when it is fresh off the vine.  This recipe combines fresh tomatoes, grilled polenta, arugula and lemon with the heat from Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch sauce (wow this stuff is good).  For even more flavor, you could add feta cheese.  To make into an entree, add quinoa or whole wheat pasta.

What is your summer go-to side?  Let me know if you have tried this recipe in the comments below, I am so excited to hear what you think!

Tomato and Polenta Summer Salad 

Author: Jodi Boatman    Prep Time: 20 Minutes    Cook time: 15 Minutes       

Total Time:  35 Minutes    Yields:  4 Servings    WW:  6 Freestyle Points


3 medium heirloom tomatoes, sliced thin
olive oil spray
18 oz Organic Polenta in a tube, sliced into 1/2” pieces 
12 Trader Joe’s Tapas Style Grilled Artichokes
4 TBSP capers
1 TBSP Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch
2 C arugula and spinach mixture
2 TBSP lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
6 basil leaves to garnish


  • Pre-heat grill to medium high.  Spray sliced polenta (on both sides) with olive oil spray and sprinkle with salt.  Grill polenta on both sides for 6-9 minutes.  Do not move the polenta until you are ready to flip to allow each side to sear.  Remove from grill and allow to cook for 5-10 minutes.

  • To assemble the salad, add arugula and spinach mixture to the bottom of a large serving platter and coat with lemon juice.  Arrange sliced tomatoes and grilled polenta so that they overlap slightly.  Tuck in grilled artichokes around the serving platter (make it pretty).  Sprinkle with capers and drizzle with Chili Onion Crunch oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with Basil leaves.  

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