Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ready-made polenta finds a delicious home
baked with spinach and goat cheese

Although I fully intend to make polenta in my lifetime, I haven’t yet.
   Until this point, I’ve only used tubes of ready-made polenta that can be found in the pasta aisle of well-stocked supermarkets.
   I’ve found a wonderful dish in which to use the ready-made variety: Baked Polenta with Spinach & Goat's Cheese (click for the recipe) from BBC’s GoodFood magazine.
   It’s absolutely delicious, and, better yet, it takes mere minutes to prepare and get to the oven.
   It’s an ideal dish for a weeknight when exhaustion has set in but the desire for a homemade dinner is still alive and kicking.
   Three chopped garlic cloves are mixed with two 400 g cans of chopped tomatoes (a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes is what the recipe wants), and the mixture is spread into the bottom of a large baking dish. I used a glass 13” x 9” inch baking dish.
   Boiling water, then cold water, is poured over fresh spinach, and then excess water is squeezed out. The now-wilted spinach is roughly chopped and scattered on top of the tomatoes.
   Ready-made polenta in a tube is sliced and the pieces overlapped on top of the spinach. Some olive oil is drizzled over, and the dish baked is in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
   The recipe then says to scatter goat’s cheese with rind, broken into chunks, on top of the polenta. I scattered plain soft goat cheese crumbled into small pieces on top.
   The dish is returned to the oven for five minutes more. Don’t worry about the cheese getting golden or bubbling as the recipe directs – the dish will be ready after the last five-minute cooking time.

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