Add 3 cups of water to a small saucepan along with the bay leaf, and bring it to a boil. Add a teaspoon of salt and reduce to a simmer. Slowly pour in the cup of polenta (cornmeal), while whisking to breakup up any clumps. Reduce heat until only a couple of large bubbles appear at a time and continue to stir with a wooden spoon. Cook until creamy and polenta just pulls away from the sides.
Remove the bay leaf. Add in the 1 ounce of spicy shredded cheese (about 3/4 cup) and mix well. Salt and pepper polenta to taste. I used a peppery Gouda and it was epic but you can use any cheese really.
Spray a 9-inch tart pan with cooking oil and transfer polenta to the prepared pan. Spread it evenly over bottom and up sides. Bake at 375 degrees F until crust is dry and crisp on edges, about 30 minutes.
While the crust bakes, slice the heirloom tomatoes. When done baking, remove from the oven and top with the tomatoes. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the top and return to oven. Bake for another 15 minutes until the tomatoes are heated through.
Let’s make this yummy vegan Hollandaise sauce while those tomatoes cook. Add 1 ripe avocado, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, a healthy pinch of salt and 1/3 cup of hot water to a blender. Blend until smooth. Add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and blend to combine. Sauce should be thick but move. Add a bit more oil if needed. Oh, and have I mentioned how much I love my Waring Blender? It’s as nice to look at as it is powerful.
Remove the tart from the oven and top with cotija cheese and cilantro. Serve slices with the avocado Hollandaise sauce and enjoy!