Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Polenta with Salsa

I love polenta, even though I haven’t prepared it so much lately. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, polenta is basically corn meal that has been cooked with water until creamy. Actually, if you’ve got the time, you can make your own polenta which is a fairly simple process, however already prepared is good too.

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered this quinoa polenta that incorporates black and red heirloom quinoa into the cornmeal so I decided it was time to make it again.

In the past, my favorite method for cooking polenta was sliced and layered with black beans, chopped tomatoes, seasonings, and a sprinkle of cheese, then baked in the oven. But this time, I made a simple salsa that I used to layer the lightly browned polenta rounds. It was light, delicious, and quick and simple.

Polenta with Salsa

1 large tomato, coarsely chopped

1 large cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 small red onion, coarsely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

a splash of lemon juice and/or balsamic vinegar

sea salt and pepper to taste

1 package of polenta, sliced into ½” rounds

grapeseed oil

Add the tomato, cucumber, onion, garlic, lemon, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to a food processor and process until very finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and chill.

Heat a skillet to medium high and coat the bottom with oil (the polenta will soak up the oil so only use what is necessary).

Lightly brown the polenta rounds on both sides - it should take a few minutes each side. Drain on a paper towel-lined dish.

To serve, spoon the salsa on top of the polenta and enjoy!

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