Going completely gluten free can be rough sometimes because I miss things like Italian soft Focaccia Bread. I have tried some of the gluten free copy cats and honestly none of them have been spot on. About a year ago I stumbled across this yellow tube at Trader Joe’s. This yellow tube, also known as polenta, became my golden treasure. At that time I have never made or even eaten this foreign substance. I usually do tend to keep the amount of corn in my diet low because most of the stuff is usually genetically modified. And I selfishly save my corn allowance for chips and salsa…aka my crack :). But this I just had to give a chance.
The first time I made this polenta it turned into a gooey mess…a mess that had an interesting flavor but certainly was not something I would serve to guests or Mr. Picky (Anthony). After some experimentation I discovered the proper baking for polenta…. bake first with only a dash of rock salt and olive oil and then add toppings! And this is what I came up with…so amazing!
- 1 tube of polenta, sliced into ¼” thick slices
- Olive oil
- 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1-2 tsp rock salt
- 1 c chopped mushroom
- 2 c chopped spinach
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- Goat cheese (optional)
- 1 package of pre-cooked chicken sausage; love the spicy Italian
- Turn oven to 350 degrees. Wrap a baking sheet with foil and coat with olive oil.
- Place polenta on baking sheet, leaving a space between each piece. Drizzle each piece with olive oil and a bit of rock salt. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- In a fry pan, heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano, and chopped shallot on medium low. Stirring occasionally until shallot has cooked down.
- After 3-5 minutes, add mushrooms and turn heat up to medium.
- Once mushrooms have softened add spinach and reduce heat back down to low. Stir until spinach has wilted.
- Finish mixture with white balsamic vinegar and cook for another 3 minutes. Once complete pour into a heat safe bowl.
- Once polenta has finished baking (should be crisp to the touch). Pull out of the oven and top with veggie mixture and a bit of goat cheese. Put back in the oven and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Take the veggie fry pan, coat with olive oil and heat to medium. Cook sausage, turning frequently to get a nice even brown.
- Plate up and enjoy!
I love how easy and how delicious! For you vegans or vegetarians… this can always be made simply by removing the goat cheese and replacing the chicken sausage with vegan/vegetarian sausage.Also play around with your toppings! I love polenta because it is so versatile. It works great as an appetizer as well!