Monday, November 22, 2010

Polenta torte

OK, there’re no pictures with this one. I could lie and say it was because they didn’t come out right, or that one of my dogs ate them, but the truth is that from a presentation standpoint this was a giant polenta fail. But the concept I think is still a good one, and with firmer polenta I think this could be really good.

I had polenta leftover form the other night and I stored it in a square container in the fridge. Polenta sets up really nicely as it cools and if it’s thick enough, you can do all kinds of things with it. The plan here was to cut it into three layers horizontally, and then stack them with filling between them and cook them. Brilliant, it’ll look awesome. It’s an ingenious use of left over polenta. The reality is that my polenta was a little soft and sort of fell apart in the baking process. From a presentation point it was a disaster, but it did taste really good. I had some leftover and it’s reheating now for tonight’s dinner.

Because it’s a work in process this isn’t really a recipe, so much as a “how to” so you can have your own polenta fail in your own kitchen. But I’m convinced it would with firmer polenta. Anyway.

Put the bottom layer of polenta in an oven proof dish (I used an old square casserole). The stuffing for the next layer was caramelized onions and blanched, chopped spinach (about 1 onion to about half a pound of spinach). It also had a little bit of garlic added to it. Then put the middle layer of polenta on top of that. Add a layer of tofu “ricotta” (like from the stuffed shells, but you only need a 12 oz. package of tofu), and then the final layer of polenta. Voila! Polenta tart. Heat it in a 350 degree oven until it’s hot (the time will vary with the size of it). Take it out, pretend it didn’t collapse and sauce it with tomato sauce of your choice and then add a little basil cream (a big punch of fresh basil, roasted garlic and a little silken tofu whipped up in a blender). It was awesome, even if it wasn’t photographable.

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