Polenta squares topped with pesto or tapenade Yield: one 9”x13” jellyroll pan
Courtesy of Rebecca Woodland
Preparation time: 10 minutes cooking time + additional topping time
The secret to perfect polenta is patience! The water must be at a full rolling boil. The dry polenta must be sprinkled into the boiling water, a little at a time so the water continues to boil uninterrupted, until all the polenta has been added. If you try to rush this or ignore the directions, you will end up with a lumpy, disgusting mess.
1 cup dry polenta (La Favorita brand, any flavor)
3½ cups boiling water
½ tsp. sea salt
TOPPINGS: (your choice, do not combine)
or any other savory topping you like (* used in demo)
4 oz. goat cheese (enough for a dollop of goat cheese on each square)
To make a creamier, more flavorful goat cheese, add a drizzle of your favorite flavored olive oil and mix well before using. Try pairing your choice of oil to complement or match your topping.
- Bring 3½ cups water to a rolling boil. While water continues to boil, gradually sprinkle polenta into the boiling water, stirring continuously with a wire whisk. Do NOT “dump” the polenta into the water or it will lump!
- Add salt. Keep stirring. Cook about 3 minutes, until mixture begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Lightly coat bottom and sides of a large baking sheet/jelly roll pan with your favorite olive oil.
- Pour cooked polenta onto the baking sheet. Spread it evenly across the entire surface, smoothing the top. Set aside to continue cooling. Polenta will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Prepare goat cheese. Put it all in a bowl. Drizzle your favorite olive oil over it. Mix well with a fork.
- When polenta has cooled to room temperature, cut it into squares, triangles, or diamonds of equal size. Top with a smear or smidgen (not an actual unit of measure) of your favorite topping.
- Just before serving, add a small dollop of the goat cheese to each square.
You may want to “toast” the polenta in a 350 degree oven before adding the toppings. For a more festive touch, top each square with microgreens, a slice of grape tomato, or other tiny edibles.