June 25, 2010

I’m convinced that my friend Melissa spends as much time staring wide-eyed at recipes online as I do. She sends me ideas several times a week – either things she has made, wants to make, or places where she wants to eat. The latest was this Baked Polenta recipe that she found on Epicurious. What’s great about a basic polenta is that you can go as wild as you want with the accompaning ingredients. Melissa and Sean made theirs with sauteed spinach, garlic and chicken sausage on top. I took an even more simplistic approach… a cheesy baked polenta with a fresh heirloom tomato salad on top. This could easily be served hot or cold, and would be a great idea for a weekend brunch.

Baked Polenta 1/2 cup vegetable broth1/2 cup milk1/2 onion, chopped1 clove of garlic, chopped1/2 cup yellow grain polenta1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for toppingsalt & pepper to tastePreheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring milk and vegetable broth to a boil in a sauce pan.  Add in garlic and garlic and stir.  Pour polenta in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Turn heat down on stove. Add salt and pepper and stir until mixture is a incorporated. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.Spray a ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Pour polenta evenly into dish and put into oven, cooking until the top is golden brown.Remove from oven, top with remaining cheese, and put back in oven until the cheese melts.
Heirloom Tomato Salad1 cup heirloom tomatoes, choppedchopped cilantrojuice of 1/2 of lemonsalt & pepper to tastedrizzle of white truffle oil (I finally ran out of this! I’ve made too much truffled popcorn over the last couple of weeks. Whoops!)
Toss ingredients together and pile on baked polenta.
You know, one of these days my landlord is going to discover me taking food pics on my dirty stairs leading up to the yard I don’t get to use. I look forward to that day.