Monday, July 28, 2008

Tomato Basil Polenta

1 1/2C polenta
6C water
1t salt
2T sun dried tomatoes
1C freshly grated Romano cheese
1T basil flavored olive oil


Boil the water in a 6-8 quart stock pot, then add the salt and slowly whisk in the polenta stirring constantly over a medium heat. After the polenta starts to thicken, mince the sun dried tomatoes and add to the pot. Keep stirring and if the polenta sticks to the bottom of the pot, lower the heat.

Keep whisking the polenta until it thickens to your desired texture. I admit here that for years I have been under cooking polenta. It's been cooked through, but I failed to continue cooking until more water had been eliminated, making it much thicker and less likely to pool on the plate (see Chicken Cacciatore photos). Keep stirring and then add butter until it melts completely. Take off the heat.

After the polenta is off the heat, add in the grated Romano and continue stirring until the cheese has fully melted into the polenta. Next drizzle in the basil oil, fully incorporate and serve. If you don't have basil oil, add fresh basil that has been pulsed with extra virgin olive oil in a food processor. Basil oil with keep the polenta from turning green.

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