Mascarpone Polenta

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with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Mick Fleetwood with polenta pupuServings: 10–15 as an appetizer, 6 as an entrée

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes cooling time

POLENTA

  • 2 c. fine cornmeal*
  • 2 c. chicken stock (or good-quality vegetable stock)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 c. heavy cream (or half-and-half or whole milk)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c. mascarpone
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Italian parsley to garnish

* “I prefer fine cornmeal over larger polenta grains; it absorbs the stock and cream quicker, and cooks to a creamy finish.” — Chef Eric Morrissette

METHOD: Bring stock and garlic to a simmer. Slowly stir in cornmeal. Add 1 cup of cream, stirring till absorbed; then add second cup of cream, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in mascarpone and rosemary.

Pour into a 9”x14” buttered dish, spreading to a thickness of 3/4”–1” and quickly smooth top before it sets. Cool in fridge till firm. Cut into 1” squares and transfer to platter. Top with a dollop of sun-dried tomato pesto and parsley to garnish. Serve at room temperature.

polenta appetizer

SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO

Yield: 2 cups (scant) | Prep Time: 30 minutes

  • 1 c. sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 c. basil leaves
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts
  • 1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

METHOD: Place first six ingredients into food processor and blend. Stop the processor and scrape the mixture down. Turn processor on and drizzle olive oil in slowly to incorporate. Stop and scrape down the sides again. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pulse till blended. Refrigerate.


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