Crispy Baked Polenta with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Crispy Baked Polenta with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto | ourfourforks.com

It’s weird – I love cornbread, corn muffins, corn tortillas, corn bread stuffing, but I’ve never been into polenta. It’s not that I disliked it – I just didn’t have the urge to make it, order it or eat it. But my polenta perspective shifted recently when I ordered short ribs and polenta at friend’s birthday dinner and liked the polenta as much as the beef. This week, I saw a recipe for smoked porter-braised beef short ribs with polenta in Food and Wine (via the women at Food52) and made it immediately (with gluten free beer). And it was as good as it looks.

 

As a new polenta fan, I ventured into my cookbook library to find some polenta recipes I had previously skimmed over. Moosewood Restaurant New Classics, an old favorite, inspired me to bake and “bread” the polenta after letting it set, which is what I’ve done here. Crispy baked polenta with sun dried tomato pesto it full of flavor, texture and seasonality. It’s warm and comforting, but the little pop of basil gives a nod to warmer months to come.

 

Crispy Baked Polenta with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto | ourfourforks.com

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Lemon Olive Oil Polenta Cake with Boozy Bourbon Cherries

Lemon Olive Oil Polenta Cake | ourfourforks.com

Sometimes when I crave a food, I become a little obsessed. And lately that food is polenta. Not the creamy, warm polenta that may be paired with fall or winter vegetables, but summer polenta: grilled polenta squares, cornmeal pancakes and this lemon olive oil polenta cake. Josh and I went to visit my family on Long Island this weekend and since I couldn’t go to the beach (weather), making this lemon olive oil polenta cake with Isabel was my stand-in activity. It underwent a few variations, but I ultimately settled on this moist version made with honey, polenta, olive oil, zesty lemons and almond meal.

 

I love this recipe because of it’s versatility; if you’re me, you’re likely to have these ingredients on hand at any given time. Paired with yogurt and fruit, it’s the perfect breakfast cake (think fancy corn muffin in cake form). Paired with crème fraîche, coconut whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, it’s the perfect summer dessert. And sliced up plain with some (almond) butter and jam – afternoon snack.

 

Lemon Olive Oil Polenta Cake | ourfourforks.com

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