Polenta Al Forno

 

Polenta 1

Polenta, oh, polenta. I have never been a fan of polenta aka grits or cornmeal. My mother, having been raised in the deep south, absolutely loves grits. She gets sheer enjoyment when grits are on the menu. So, this dish is slightly inspired by her. I came across this recipe in New York Times. It was unlike anything i’ve ever made so I thought i’d give it a shot. It was an experiment with success, though, I will do a few things differently next time.

Polenta 3

Polenta 7

Polenta 6

Polenta 5

Polenta 4

Polenta 2

This is a great vegetarian dish that’s low fat. I used low fat ricotta to reduce the fat but i’m sure the full fat version is wonderful too. The next time I make this, I won’t cook the polenta quite as long and I would make thicker layers. It really makes a difference when holding the middle spinach mix together. It would also be delicious with the acidic taste of marinara sauce spread on top. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  This is a great side dish for #meatlessmondays.

Print Recipe
Polenta Al Forno
Gluten Free, Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
6-8
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
6-8
Instructions
  1. Blanch spinach briefly in large pot of boiling water. 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and cool. Squeeze all excess moisture from spinach and roughly chop.
  2. In a large bowl, combine chopped spinach and ricotta. Season with salt and pepper, then add cayenne, lemon zest, half the Parmesan and all but 2 T of the fontina and stir well.
  3. Butter a 9x12 casserole dish. Ladle in half the warm, soft polenta and spread with a spatula to make a thin layer. Spoon spinach mixture evenly over it. Top with remaining soft polenta and spread to smooth surface. (may be made ahead up to this point, then covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperate before baking.)
  4. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and fontina. Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 30-40 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove from over and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from the NY Times recipe


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