CRISPY POLENTA WEDGES WITH SPRING GREENS AND A LEMONY-DILL PESTO
Spring, finally! It took a little while to get here, but fingers crossed it's here to stay. Spring produce is slowly creeping its way into the market, and though I'm still waiting on rhubarb and adorable radishes, I'll happily settle for the green guys in the interim. This was my first attempt at polenta, and if I'm being totally honest, I was pleasantly surprised. I love a good cornbread, but was worried that the texture of polenta and I just wouldn't jive. Nothing a little roasting and crisping can't solve. Happy Spring Folks!
CRISPY POLENTA WEDGES WITH SPRING GREENS AND A LEMONY-DILL PESTO // serves 4-6
Pesto adapted from with food and love
1 cup coarse cornmeal
6 cups water
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1 T olive oil
3-4 leeks, thinly sliced
1 bunch asparagus, ends removed and chopped into 1" diagonals
1 cup peas
juice from 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
micro greens, to garnish (optional)
lemony-dill pesto //
2 cups loosely packed fresh dill
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
juice from 1 lemon
2 T water
3 T sunflower seeds, hulled
dash of salt and pepper
What to do:
Start by making the polenta. Bring 6 cups of water to boil. Lower the heat to medium and slowly pour in the polenta and a dash of salt, whisking constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, for 20-25 minutes.
Line a rectangular baking dish with parchment. Immediately pour the polenta into the dish and smooth with a spatula. Transfer to the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450. Place an oven-safe wire rack on a baking sheet. Carefully transfer the polenta to a cutting board and cut into 16 wedges. Gently dip each piece in flour and place on the rack. Bake for 25-30 minutes until crisp.
Combine all the pesto ingredients in a food processor or magic bullet and pulse until combined. Add more water if its too thick. Set aside.
Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté for 2 minutes. Continue to add the asparagus, peas, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 3 minutes (you want the veggies to retain some crunch).
To serve, line the bowl with a heaping scoop (or two) of veggies. Top with 2-3 polenta wedges, and a significant drizzle of pesto. Finish with micro greens.