Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Polenta Trio - What a way to leverage leftovers . . .

Polenta. Seems exotic, but in fact, if you buy and bake it - it may be the easiest carb after sliced bread! In fact, earlier in the week I was all cooked out.

John and I had a party last week with lots of great leftover items (prosciutto, cheese) and I had packaged polenta . . . and some leftovers from my last post (Pea & Mint Puree) and my creative side said . . . wow . . . I can make something super colorful and tasty here!

Polenta Trio featuring Peas & Mint Puree, Mushrooms with Prosciutto and Bell Peppers with Parmesan
  • 1 package prepared Polenta, I used Food Merchants Organic - comes in many flavors
  • 1 c leftover Pea & Mint Puree
  • 5-6 Button Mushrooms
  • 2-3 Slices Prosciutto (some of my party leftovers)
  • 1 tsp dried Thyme
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper
  • 2 tsp Diced or chopped Kalamata olives (I always have some on hand)
  • 2 tsp shredded Parmesan (again party leftovers)
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
Unwrap the polenta and slice it into 6 even rounds (or more if you prefer them thinner). Place the slices on a baking sheet, I put foil on it so I didn't even have to clean it. Put them in the oven and prepare to broil. If you are not super fast at prepping, don't turn the oven on yet. Because I had this in mind and all the ingredients handy, I started broiling - 4 minutes per side.

Finely dice both the mushrooms, prosciutto and bell pepper. Set a small pan to med-hi heat and saute the prosciutto. Because it is fatty, no additional grease is needed. After about 2 minutes, add the mushrooms and thyme. Continue to cook until mushrooms are through, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside and keep warm. (this is when I flipped my polenta to broil on the other side)

In the same pan, add the olive oil and saute the bell pepper with a little bit of pepper. Add the kalamata olives and cook till heated through, 1-2 minutes. Get any leftover Pea & Mint xxx out of the fridge. Now you are ready to assemble.

Per the image above, arrange the polenta on a plate and top with 1/2 of the prepared toppings. The result is a colorful, semi-healthy, leftover bonanza that draws from all the food categories and is gorgeous to behold. This is a smaller meal, but an appealing one. You could also make one of these items as an appetizer for a dinner party and prep most items in advance:) I think polenta has a future in my kitchen.

Till soon - I just got a new breakfast recipe that we'll be trying out this weekend.

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