Thursday, January 26, 2012

Winter Garden Polenta

This blog is really helping me try new foods and recipes, I'm thankful for that, and thankful for all you won
derful readers out there!  I have never made Polenta, nor eaten it.  I wish I would have tried this gem earlier, because I really do like it.  I love the texture.  I wasn't sure how it would taste or if it would turn into a pile of mush which it sort of is, but definitely has a texture to it.  I want to try more recipes with it for sure.  When I first made this recipe I thought it was a "girl food" as in something men wouldn't want-thinking that way because it doesn't have any meat in it.  Men I know like meat.  Surprising enough my husband really enjoyed this meal!  I'm lucky that he will try(and most of the time like) anything I make. Thank goodness.  This is SO easy to prepare, and most of the work is done in the Crock Pot! Score!  It takes very little time, and has great flavor, give this a try!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Crock Pot Cook Time: 1½ hours on high or 3 hours on Low(those are the original recipe instructions) I cooked mine on low for 1½ hours and it was done, mine must be a speedy crock pot!
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
Servings: 4-6
Difficulty: Easy

Winter Garden Polenta
  • ½ cup oil-packed dried tomatoes(reserve 1-2 Tbls oil)
  • 5 cups boiling water
  • 1½ cups coarse polenta
  • ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried basil, crushed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1  8oz. package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 4 cups packaged fresh baby spinach
  • Parmesan cheese for topping
Chop dried tomatoes into small pieces.  In 3½-4-quart slow cooker combine tomatoes, boiling water, polenta, the ½cup Parmesan cheese, basil, salt, and crushed red pepper.  Cover and cook until polenta is done- 1½ hours on (high)(mine cooked in that time on low) if yours doesn't cook that fast then 3 hours on low.

About 10 minutes before serving, in a large skillet heat reserved oil from tomatoes, and mushrooms.  Cook and stir for about 5 minutes until tender.

Add the spinach and cook until wilted.
By the way this is not 4 cups of spinach-I ran out.  I recommend sticking to 4 cups though. I made more the next day.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Scoop out a bowl of polenta, top with the mushroom spinach mixture

Go ahead and sprinkle on more Parmesan cheese, because it's good.


I found this recipe out of the December issue of Better Homes and Garden magazine.
Can't go wrong with this recipe!

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