Planning A Buffet Dinner:
Polenta with Fontina Cheese
and Marinated Tomatoes plus Lemon Tart


Things To Consider

  • Number of guests.
  • Menu—is the food easy to handle if people are eating from plates that they are holding?
  • Layout of the table—position in the room? Dishes and flatware may be located on the same table or on an adjoining table; wrap flatware in napkin.
  • Have serving utensils to go with serving dishes. Does food need to be kept hot? Do you need a chafing dish or warming tray?
  • Appetizers may be placed on coffee tables. Desserts may be served or placed on another table in a different room along with coffee.
  • Have smaller cocktail napkins for appetizers and desserts. Have a place for guests to dispose of paper products.

Polenta with Fontina Cheese
and Marinated Tomatoes

Marinated Tomatoes

  • 6 large plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • 4 cups canned chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 cups shredded fontina cheese

For the marinated tomatoes, combine the tomatoes, onion, basil, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix gently. Chill for 2 hours or longer.

For the polenta, bring the chicken broth, water and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Add the cornmeal, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Reduce heat to low. Stir with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and white pepper. Spoon into a greased 10 x 15-inch baking pan; smooth surface with spatula. Chill for 30 minutes.

Cut polenta into 16 squares; cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the polenta triangles in a single layer in an ovenproof serving platter. Top with the marinated tomatoes; sprinkle with the fontina cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Makes thirty-two triangles.

Experiment cutting the polenta into different shapes-a cookie cutter works well.


Lemon Tart with Raspberry Sauce

tart Tart Shell
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons whipping cream
Raspberry Sauce
  • 8 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Seasonal berries and mint sprigs for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the shell, combine the flour, butter and sugar in a bowl and mix well. Press over bottom and halfway up side of a 9-inch tart pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until light brown.

For the filling, whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon rind, lemon juice and whipping cream in a bowl until mixed. Spoon into the warm tart shell. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until set. Let stand until cool.

For the sauce, bring the undrained raspberries and honey to a boil in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in a mixture of water and cornstarch gradually. Cook until thickened and clear, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; strain. Pour into a squeeze bottle.

Pipe the raspberry sauce decoratively onto individual dessert plates. Arrange the tart slices on the sauce. If serving from whole tart, spoon sauce on top of tart. Garnish with seasonal berries and mint sprigs.

Grate lemons before squeezing out the juice. To get the most juice out of a lemon, roll the lemon on the counter or microwave for 15 seconds.

Serves twelve.


Provided by Aramark from:
Entertaining with The Home-Field Advantage
Designed and Produced by Favorite Recipes Press
Food Photography by Mike Rutherford
Aramark Corporation
Released 1996
Reprinted with permission.


All About Polenta and More Polenta Recipes

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified August 2007

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