Freshly made polenta make these “toasts” particularly delicious—they can even be made from polenta left over from a previous meal.
- Put 4 cups cold water into a medium heavy-bottomed pot. Stir in the polenta and 1 generous pinch of salt.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook the polenta, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 45 minutes.
- The polenta will swell and thicken as it cooks. Stir in a little more water as needed if it gets too thick before it finishes cooking.
- Stir in the cheese and season with salt.
- Oil an 8-inch square baking pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
- Spread the hot polenta in an even layer ½ inch thick in the pan, smoothing the top with a wet rubber spatula.
- Set aside to cool.
- Transfer to the refrigerator, uncovered, to firm up and cool completely.
- Cut the polenta into 1-inch squares, discarding scraps.
- Heat the remaining ¼ cup oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Working in batches, fry the polenta squares until deep golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
- Drain on paper towels.
- To serve, top half of the polenta toasts with a small spoonful of olive spread and the remaining toasts with a piece of roasted tomato.