I have been thinking and talking a lot here about the idea of dedicating time to create and manage another full time recipe blog, but why should that even be a priority for me? I’m feeling so split and divided by so much social media these days, that the idea of consolidating is hugely appealing. Then I slapped myself on the forehead and said, “Self? Take those Instragram photos you love to take, and if a recipe is worthy- it can find a spot on The Ci!” Sometimes you have to perk up and listen to that inner voice.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 cup instant polenta
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pound baby spinach
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz. grated Mozzarella cheese
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Lightly oil a 9-inch round baking dish. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and slowly stir in the polenta. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the polenta is thick, about 5 minutes. Pour the hot polenta into the baking dish and cover the surface directly with plastic wrap. Let stand until firm, about 25 minutes.
In a large, deep skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Increase the heat to moderately high and add the spinach, stirring to wilt it. Season with salt and pepper. Keep the spinach warm.
If grilling, light a grill and oil the grates. If not using a grill, brush a bit of oil on each side of the block of polenta that you have removed from the baking dish. Cut the polenta into 8 wedges and grill/place in pan over moderately high heat until crisp and lightly charred, 5 minutes per side. Place 2 wedges on each plate; top each with sauce and grated cheese. Spoon the warm spinach on top and serve.
The polenta can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated overnight. Slice the polenta and bring to room temperature before proceeding.
(inspired by this recipe)