My friend Teresa is not only a great cook, but she is also my food emergency hotline. If I’m in the kitchen and things are going awry, it is Teresa I get on the line. She can talk me through any kitchen disaster with her simple tips and tricks. Teresa has been cooking Italian and teaching Italian for many years. She is brilliant in the kitchen no matter what the meal, and truly a shining star when it comes to Italian cooking. Teresa wrote a book called Pass the Polenta and so I thought it only appropriate dedicate this post to her.
As Teresa says, “Food is not merely about calories and minimum daily requirements and metabolic pathways. At its very heart food is about people.”
I love that quote. At Bring It blog, we are also all about people. Who wants to create all this great food and not have people to share it with, right? So, bring some polenta and enjoy with friends. I topped this recipe with sautéed kale, goat cheese, with a balsamic drizzle, but you can top with anything such as ratatouille, chicken stew, roasted vegetables, and the list goes on.
Il cibo è molto meglio con gli amici!
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
3 Tbsp unsalted butter (I use Earth Balance butter substitute)
1 1/2 tsp salt (I cut back on this amount because the Earth Balance butter substitute is salted)Couple grinds of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In large, oven-safe saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and salt and sauté until onions are soft and translucent, approximately 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to burn garlic.
Turn up heat to high and add vegetable stock and water. Bring to a boil. Gradually add cornmeal while continually whisking. Once all cornmeal has been added, cover the pan and place in oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent lumps from forming. Once mixture is creamy, remove from the oven and add butter, salt and pepper to taste. Gradually add Parmesan, mix completely.
Serve as is or pour into 8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″ baking pan coated with cooking spray. Place in refrigerator to cool completely. Once set, re-heat in 350 degree oven until warmed through, approximate 30 minutes.
1 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
Bring Balsamic vinegar and honey to a boil in a small saucepan. Once boiling, turn burner to low and let simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Sauce should reduce by about half or until desired thickness.
1 large bunch of kale
3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Heat olive oil over medium heat in large saucepan. Turn down heat to medium-low, add kale, salt and pepper. Sauté kale until wilted and soft, approximate 7-8 minutes. Turn off heat.
Take warm polenta out of oven, place kale over top of polenta and drizzle with Balsamic sauce. Crumble goat cheese on top, cut and serve. Yum, yum, yum!