A few weeks ago I bought a package of stone ground cornmeal to make homemade polenta. Tonight I finally took on the challenge.
I found inspiration from this recipe for polenta and this idea for baking polenta. I read through them, combined a few ideas, thought about the ingredients I had on hand, and came up with this Herbed Polenta with a Tomato Ragout -
- 3 cups chicken broth (you could use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 leaves of sage, minced
- 1 small sprig of thyme, minced
- 1 tsp chopped parsley
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese; I used a mix of white cheddar and asiago
- Ragout: 1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used 1 package of grape tomatoes), 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, pinch of salt
- Combine broth, herbs, garlic, and salt; bring to a boil
- Slowly whisk in the cornmeal, just a bit at a time.
- Lower heat to medium-low and continue to whisk until the polenta becomes thick and creamy and starts to pull away from the edges of the pan. This took about 18 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat olive oil in a pan. Add the ingredients for the ragout and cook over medium heat for 7 minutes. Set aside.
- Once the polenta is just about done, whisk in the cheese until creamy.
- Spoon half of the polenta into a baking dish. Top with the ragout and then spoon in the rest of the polenta. Top with just a bit of shredded cheese.
- Bake on 400 for 30-40 minutes - covered for the first half, uncovered for the rest - until golden brown.
I wish my blog had a "scratch-n-sniff" capability because it smells sooo good in here right now! Here is the finished product.
It was sooo yummy - one of the best things I have tasted in a while. My one wish is that it was a little firmer; I think I can achieve that next time by letting it cool in a pan to set for a bit before baking it. I served the polenta with a side of sauteed spinach - fresh baby spinach sauteed in olive oil and sprinkled with some Kosher salt.
One word of advice - warm up your arms and be ready to get a workout from the constant whisking! I had just done an upper body workout so my arms were exhausted by the time I was done cooking. It was well worth it though and I'd do it again.Print this post