Traditional whole grain polenta (aka yellow corn grits) is a roughly ground corn product, processed with limewater and cooked in water or broth until thickened. It can be served hot as a creamy porridge or side dish. Or it can be cooled, sliced and fried.
This recipe imbues sliced polenta with fresh, whole herbs which are both aesthetic and delicious.
Prep time:5 minutes
Cook time:15 minutes (frying time)
- Leftover traditional polenta
- Fresh herbs of choice such as oregano, basil, or sage
- Coconut oil for frying
- Cast iron skillet
- Splatter screen
Step 1. Make traditional polenta (if you don't have it leftover)
When thickened, oil a shallow bowl or pan large enough to hold the polenta in a 1-3 inch layer. Pour the polenta into the bowl and press down with a spatula to remove air bubbles and create a smooth surface. Let cool for 10 minutes or until solidified enough to slice.
Step 2. Cut the polenta
Turn leftover or solidified polenta onto a plate or cutting board. It seems to work better to place the plate on the dish with a plam on either side. Then, flip both over together with the plate underneath. Cut into 3/4 to 1 inch slices.
Step 3. Perpare the herbs
Wash the fresh herbs and pat dry. Press an herb leaf or leaves into the top of each slice of polenta.
3. Fry the polenta
Heat coconut oil in a sturdy frying pan Place the polenta herb side down in the frying pan. Fry for several minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, press another herb leaf onto the top side of each block, then turn over.
Turn them valiantly to get the herbs to stay in place. A quick flip does the trip.
Splatter control: Take care to use a splatter screen and watch for little pieces of polenta which like to shoot out all over the kitchen. Also, if you don't dry the herbs thoroughly, it makes the splatters worse.
Serve warm as a side or main dish. This pairs well with fresh marina, pesto or sun-dried tomato pesto.