|Vegetable stock and polenta|
|Garlic scapes and green onion|
|Quick sautee in olive oil and salt|
The basic thing to keep in mind about polenta is that the liquid to grain ratio is about 3 to 1; you could use water for the liquid, and as long as the polenta is organic and good quality, the final result would probably be wonderful. As I was making this particular polenta, I kept thinking of the flavor combinations that I could make in the future; sun-dried tomato and basil (or oregano); cilantro and jalapeno; pumpkin and thyme...
|Polenta gets pretty thick; keep stirring!|
|Allowing the polenta to firm up|
- 2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
- 2 garlic scapes (or a clove or two of garlic), minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or other herbs)
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2/3 cup of water (as needed)
- 1.5 cups polenta/ corn grits/ coarse-ground cornmeal
Sauté the onions and garlic scapes in olive oil for a few minutes, just until they're starting to cook. Add the salt and herbs, stir to combine flavors; pour in the stock and bring to a steady simmer over medium-high heat. Once the stock is simmering, add the polenta in a slow and steady stream, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula for 25-30 minutes. As you're stirring, be sure to stir from the bottom of the pot, as the polenta will become quite thick quickly--and you want to both keep it from burning and keep it cooking for the full time, or else it will be too gritty. Add as little as 1/4 and as much as 2/3 cup of water during the cooking process--the polenta should be quite thick, but not too thick to stir effectively. At the end of the cooking time, taste and adjust spices; take the polenta off heat and transfer into a greased 8"x8" (or a 9"x9", depending on how thick you like it) baking pan, and allow to cool for a couple hours.
After the polenta cools, you can slice it and store in an airtight container for up to a week, refrigerated. As I mentioned earlier, to fix it, just fry some up with more garlic, onions, and greens. You can also decrease the recipe and use 1 cup of polenta for 3 cups of liquid, but (personally,) I like a thicker slice of polenta.
Polenta is also something that is often sold locally, and thus could be a delicious platform for an almost all-local meal.