I had the polenta grits on hand as they are a major ingredient in struan bread, but only today did it occur to me that they might make a nice accompaniment to our main dish salads of green beans, red peppers and beets.
Sure, I’d heard more than a few complaints that polenta is such a labour intensive ordeal to cook. I will tell you it is a lie. Yes, you need to stand near the stove for half an hour and give the mixture an occasional stir-but it most certainly is not difficult to prepare.
I paired the polenta with carmelised onions, though if I had mushrooms on hand I’d have used them.
*About the photograph-yes, it is cloudy because I had olive oil on my hands and I must have touched the lens. Oops.
You Will Need:
For The Polenta:
3 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup polenta grits
Bring water to a boil in a deep pan. Slowly stir in the polenta and salt. Reduce to simmer and cook, stirring frequently for about 30 minutes until mixture is thickened. Oil a pan or medium bowl. Pour polenta into it and let sit for 10 minutes. Unmold on a plate. Chill if not using right away.
Heat olive oil in a pan (about 3 tablespoons) and fry polenta slices over medium heat taking care that oil does not begin to smoke. Brown on both sides. Top with carmelised onions.
For The Carmelised Onions:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
5 large sweet onions (about 7 cups)
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, salt and sugar. Cover and cook 30-40 minutes until a caramel brown colour. Stir in thyme. Chill until ready to use. Check the onions after about ten minutes to make certain they are not burning. You may need to turn the heat down depending on your range.