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Swordfish-Rosemary Polenta Stacks

August 18, 2009

~ Katy ~

While the salad course was pretty and edible, if not spectacular, the dinner course was absolutely lovely.  The ratatouille is a bit time consuming with the peeling and seeding of the tomatoes and all of that slicing and dicing, but the flavor combination with the polenta was fantastic!  I used tuna steaks, since the stores I went to were all out of swordfish.  I’ll definitely try this stack again.  It’s not as sweet as the Shrimp Cake Stacks which are still a huge favorite for me.  However, it’s really a healthy and flavorful stack. 




Polenta Stacks

6 Servings adapted from: Stacks the Art of Vertical Food

Planning Ahead

-Make polenta rounds the day before and chill

-Make ratatouille the day before being careful not to overcook

2.5 pound swordfish steaks (or tuna steaks)

2 Tablespoons olive oil




1 (13.5 oz) pkg 5-minute polenta

3 Tablespoons butter

2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons salt




6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2.5 cups dice eggplant

1 cup chopped onions

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups diced zucchini

1 cup diced red bell pepper

1 cup diced yellow bell pepper

3.5 cups peeled, seeded, and diced tomatoes

10 basil leaves, julienned

½ cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley for garnish

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish


Advance Preparation

To make the swordfish, brush the swordfish steaks with olive oil and place over hot coals or under a high broiler flame.  Cook a total of 8 minutes-4 minutes on each side.  Coarsely chop the cooked swordfish.

To make the polenta, cook the polenta according to the package directions, adding 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt to the water.  Add the butter, Parmesan, rosemary and salt at the end.  Mix well.  Pour polenta into a lightly greased 12 x 17” sheet pan and smooth to ½ inch deep.  Let rest for 20 minutes to firm up.  When the polenta is firm, cut 16 3” rounds.  (Use your stack cylinder as a cutting tool.)  Set aside. 

To make the ratatouille, heat the oil in a large frying pan.  Add the eggplant and sauté until browned.  Add the onions and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes.  Add the zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes and cook, stirring until the vegetables are just cooked through but not mushy, about 5 minutes.  Add the basil, artichoke hearts, salt, and pepper and heat through.  Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat. 


Preheat oven to 350

Spray 6 stack cylinders with vegetable spray and place them on a greased sheet pan.  Layer the stacks in the following order:  1 round of polenta, 3 Tablespoons swordfish, 3 Tablespoons ratatouille.  Repeat the layers, ending with the ratatouille.  Bake stacks for 10 minutes, or until heated through. 

To serve, slide a spatula under each stack cylinder and transfer to a plate.

Garnish with additional ratatouille, parsley, and Parmesan.  Cut decorative shapes from the remaining polenta and place on stack tops.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2009 12:14 pm

    Worth all of the effort.

  2. August 22, 2009 9:38 am

    It is a piece of delicious art!

    Angie’s Recipes

  3. August 22, 2009 4:22 pm

    A fabulous post!

  4. August 23, 2009 8:24 am

    Holy moley! Cooking AND architectural skills. I can barely put two Legos together. The addition of swordfish to ratatouille sounds delicious to boot.

  5. September 3, 2009 6:40 pm


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