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Green Green Polenta

This is a riff on Mollie Katzen’s Green Green Noodle Soup, with a little bit of “Green Eggs and Ham” inspiration.  Polenta is ground corn and not hard to make if you grow corn in summer. In fact, it is probably the grain staple most suited to  my climate. It’s medium GI and a good source of fibre, minerals and B6.  Its creamy texture and fairly bland flavour make it loved by kids, so this could be a good way to convince kids that green is good. It also makes it a good carrier for flavours.

If you grow your own corn for polenta, it will take 40 minutes or so to cook. But if you use the fast cooking polenta that is the kind commonly sold, this recipe comes together in literally half an hour, and it’s worth it.

The Recipe:

All the vegetables in this recipe are diced fairly fine.

Saute in a little olive oil (adding in more or less this order)

  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 – 3 spring onions (whites and greens)
  • 3 – 4 cloves of garlic
  • a bunch of spinach or 6 – 8 silver beet leaves stripped from the stem and chopped
  • half a cup of chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil

As soon as it is all wilted, add ½ cup of polenta and 2 cups of water.

Cook, stirring frequently for 10 minutes or so until it is thick and creamy.

Crumble in 80 grams of low fat feta cheese and cook for a minute or two to melt it through. Taste and add salt to taste.

At this point you have two choices. You can leave the vegetables as they are, or you can blend the mixture till they fleck the polenta, or blend thoroughly so you have green polenta. Kids seem to like the smooth texture and interesting colour of green polenta, but I like the flavour textures of it unblended.

Lightly grease a shallow metal pan and spread the polenta mix in it so that it is about 1.5 cm thick. Pop this in the freezer for a few minutes. It will set in literally 5 minutes and you will be able to tip it out onto a board and cut it into squares or triangles.

While it is setting heat some olive oil with a little knob of butter in a heavy pan. Fry the squares of polenta on a high heat for a few minutes on each side until they are browned and have a crisp crust. (You’ll get a better crust if you can restrain yourself to turn them just once.)

They are great as a main feature with a tomato-based sauce and a salad, or as a side dish with meat or chicken, or as the base for a poached egg.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Bianca August 11, 2010, 10:17 pm

    Yum! this one sounds like a keeper -definitely a spin on plain ol fritters! I love Molly Katzens book the enchanted broccoli forest.


  • Linda August 12, 2010, 8:44 am

    Me too. She is one of my cooking gurus.

  • Anna Johnston August 12, 2010, 8:58 am

    Polenta is so versatile; like this one, really easy peazy isn’t it.

  • Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial August 12, 2010, 11:12 am

    Homemade polenta? Please do tell – how do we make that? We’re planting corn this year…thanks Linda!

  • Linda August 12, 2010, 12:08 pm

    Hi Celia, I’ll do a post about it with pictures when I get to harvesting my corn (which won’t be until well into summer). But my teacher for this is Kimi from Nourishing Gourmet.

  • Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial August 13, 2010, 8:15 am

    Thanks Linda! I’ll look forward to it. Our corn isn’t planted yet either, so I’ll wait until you post the recipe.

  • Louise December 12, 2012, 7:17 pm

    I love this, thank you Linda!

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