Polenta with Roasted Asparagus and TomatoesPosted: September 6, 2011
I love carbs. I eat a lot of carbs. Carbs good. though sometimes you want your carbs gluten-free, this is where polenta comes in. I swear by the Organic De La Estancia brand. It is not pre-cooked, but will cook up in under 5min making this super speedy.
What I used:
Lb of asparagus
Half pint grape tomatoes
5 cloves garlic
Crushed red pepper
Smoked hot paprika
Cup of polenta – I use the De la Estancia brand. It organic and from Argentina. Aside: I was just in BsAs and I swear I saw no polenta anywhere. This confused me to no end. This polenta is the bomb, but they has no polenta in the country where it is from? Huh.
3 cups veg broth
Ounce of blue cheese – I used Roaring Forties Tasmanian Blue
What I did:
My asparagus was a bit thick and woody on the ends. Trim it, peel the bottom quarter and cut it all in half. I’m a big fan of always peeling the bottom of asparagus so it isn’t stringy. No need to cut it up small you’re going to roast it down.
Line a baking sheet with foil so you have less to clean up. Or don’t, maybe you like to clean up. Throw the asparagus on the pan, add pepper a pinch of salt and a bit of oil just to coat it and stir it around. Toss in the garlic cloves. whole.
If you are me, you will decide at this point that you want to add tomatoes to the mix. So quarter them, push the asparagus around and make a well in the center of the pan and toss the tomatoes in. Sprinkle some smoked hot paprika, get the Spanish imported, and some crushed pepper on the tomatoes. Give it a stir so it gets some of the oil from the asparagus/pan and stick it in the oven set to 350. I don’t bothering to preheat. Set a timer for 20 min
This chopping and prep will take a max of 10 min. Speedy.
Go do something else. I sat on the balcony and had some wine.
Timer is going off. Go look at it and stir it around with a wood flat spoon – just use that tool. Set timer again for 20 min. Go do something else. Herpes Manor, I mean the Bachelor Pad is on, gonna watch that.
Timers off. Go check on it. It is getting done. Take the wood spoon and start smashing down the garlic cloves. Mine aren’t completely soft yet but close. Back in the oven for 15. Also turned it down to 250.
Start getting the polenta ready. Put the broth in a sauce pan, I just used a 3 qt stainless all clad. Measure out the polenta. Turn on the broth to low so you can turn it to boil fast when ready.
Timers off. Check and stir and smash the garlic. Is it all smashable? Good. It’s done. No? Give it another 10 min and try again. Mine was done so I turned off the oven but left it in there and turned up the water to boil. The asparagus was nice and crisp at the tip and caramelized.
Made a simple salad while waiting on boil. Simple salad is just some already washed and ready mixed greens and dressed with a lemon and olive oil salt pepper dressing that I make in bulk and fridge. Proportions are juice of a lemon to 2 parts olive oil, pepper, and a pinch of salt. Use fleur de sel, preferably some that you picked up at the market for a song the last time you were in Paris – seriously, buy foodstuffs on vacation, it is cheaper and gives you a reason to have to get on a plane again, you are out of salt. And need more of that wine that they don’t import here. And duty free cigs, DON’T FORGET THOSE! THE SAVINGS PAY FOR YOUR VACATION x2. Oh, and get some imported DOP olive oil. Don’t dink around with cheap crap. You are using it raw and you are taking the time to cook a nice meal – just buck up for some quality ingredients. This whole thing cost like $6 to make. $6. And that is with the cost of $30 DOP olive oil. Just do it already.
Water is boiling. Add the polenta. I use the de la Estancia because it is fast and forgiving and not instant. You can pour it all in pretty fast and it won’t ruin or congeal. Just whisk it on low for 5 min and that’s it. Regular polenta is more work. Use their directions so you don’t blame me for it not turning out or taking longer.
Add in like an ounce of the blue cheese. I use the size of a pat of butter. when it is melted in you are done.
Plate it. Sprinkle some fresh oregano over it so it looks nice and tastes good and serve with a sprinkle of the parm
We are hungry and I did another 3 hour work out session. That means this serves 2 though could stretch to four I guess with more veg.