Everyone (including my co-blogger/griller extraordinaire) touts polenta as this amazingly tasty, healthy, quick dish. Up until last week, I thought it was just too good to be true. Every time I’ve tried to make it, it’s taken on the consistency of what I imagine brick layers use to slap houses together (ok, full disclosure: I’ve only made it once, and another time used TJ’s ready-made… together it was enough to turn a woman off of cornmeal forever.)
But Tastespotting continued to tempt me, and Mark Bittman and Giada DeLaurentis made it worse. And then one day last week, Ruth Reichl tweeted, “Misty morning. World wrapped in cotton clouds. Leftover polenta to chase the chill, melting mascarpone, softly fried eggs, crisp bacon.” What a tease. I decided to dive in one last time.
Since we’re being honest here, it’s amazing I’ve come as far as I have (a semi-functioning adult), considering I never really took to reading directions. When looking at recipes, I usually note the ingredients, but after that just kind of make up the order and style in which I mix them together. This turned out to be my polenta obstacle. Giada advised, and I finally listened. “Add ingredients gradually, stir constantly.” Well, that sounded like a lot of work. But it wasn’t! 15 minutes of gradual adding and stirring of cornmeal, parmesan cheese, and a dab of butter, and I had polenta success!
Atop the polenta went an assortment of roasted spring vegetables (roasted collard greens, where have you been all my life?), and a fried egg with a still gooey yolk. So delicious, so comforting, now I know what all those Italian mammas were talking about.
Roasted Spring Vegetables over Polenta, with Fried Egg
- Small bunch of asparagus, trimmed
- 1 small red onion, chopped into big chunks
- Handful of mushrooms, sliced
- Collard greens, washed, dried, and torn into big pieces
- 1 egg per person
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss all vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and spread on to 1-2 baking sheets, making sure every vegetable is touching the pan.
- Roast in oven 12-15 minutes, until vegetables are soften and browning on top (mushrooms and collards might finish first- take them off pan and keep others going.)
- While vegetables are roasting, make polenta ACCORDING to Giada’s instructions, except feel free to cut the butter in half.
- When vegetables and polenta are finishing, fry or poach eggs to your desired consistency. Assemble polenta, vegetables, and egg on plate in ascending order.