Broccoli polenta with pesto

The first time I tried polenta, it was out of those supermarket tube shaped packages, disappointingly bland, barely rescued by our spicy marinara. This killer homegrown version is a different animal grain altogether, rendering the accompanying pesto superfluous.


Broccoli Polenta cakes (recipe adapted from the smashing Veganomicon)

– 1 cup stone ground coarse polenta
– 3 and 1/2 cups water
– salt and fresh black pepper to taste
– 1 cup broccoli, chopped fine ( I used frozen)
– 2 oz Queso Fresco

– Bring the water to boil in a heavy saucepan. Slowly pour in the polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk.
– Add the broccoli, salt and pepper.
– Lower the heat to a simmer and keep stirring for 10-15 minutes until it thickens to creamy pudding consistency. (Be careful of hot splatters.)
– Cover and turn off the heat. Let it rest for ten minutes, until it is thick enough to be picked up on a flat spatula.
– Pour the polenta into greased muffin pans and cool. (Silicone pans are perfect for this..don't even need greasing.)
– Once cooled, turn over on a foil-lined baking sheet, crumble half the queso on top and place under the broiler until the cheese turns golden.

Sun-dried tomato cilantro pesto

– 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
– 1 cup boiling water
– 1/4 cup almonds, ground
– 1/2 cup cilantro, packed
– 2 tbsp lemon juice
– salt and pepper to taste

– Soak the tomatoes in boiling water for ten minutes. Then, grind everything together in a food processor or blender.

Serve the polenta over the pesto, with roasted vegetables on the side, and more crumbled queso for garnish. I broiled a couple of zucchinis, tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano and vinegar, on the same tray with the polenta.

* Omit the queso for a vegan version.
* Serves 4. Per serving about 250 calories.

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About purplesque

Psychiatrist, cook, bookworm, photographer. Not necessarily in that order.
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14 Responses to Broccoli polenta with pesto

  1. bee says:

    i have a giant box of cornmeal, but not coarse. will it work? i need to use it up soon.

  2. Purplesque says:

    Yep..cornmeal should work. You'll get a finer texture and smoother cakes.

  3. Purplesque says:

    p.s. If using cornmeal, I'd add a tbsp or more of olive oil/butter to the water along with the polenta.

  4. Zotta says:

    Wow, you really have an alternate career as a food photog!

  5. LeendaDLL says:

    any leftovers? I'm pretty late but still hungry. These look GOOD.

  6. Purplesque says:

    There's always some for you. 🙂

  7. Emjay says:

    LMAO!!! I was (mis)reading your post and thought it said that you rescued it with spicy marijuana!!!!!! That pesto sounds great. As usual your photos are wonderful.

  8. Purplesque says:

    LOL.. I doubt even that would have done the trick…that polenta tasted like cardboard!

  9. Emjay says:

    Yeah – but you wouldn't have noticed the cardboard! 🙂

  10. Purplesque says:

    You have a point, there..I'll remember that the next time we have cardboard for dinner! 😀

  11. Oh, they look so tasty. Broccoli!! Such a good thing.You have those silicone pans? NEAT! If mine ever croak I'll buy the silicone ones……they're like Silpat, right? Or is that a different one?

  12. Purplesque says:

    Oh yeah..they are good! Just like Silpat..nothing sticks, and clean-up is easy.

  13. Pingback: Полента с брокколи — Formula 7×7

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