Polenta Squares with Ricotta & Basil Pesto


2- 32 oz containers vegetable broth
salt & pepper
4 Tbsp butter
16 oz pkg quick cooking polenta
3 handfuls of basil leaves
1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese
4 garlic cloves
1/3 cup unsalted almonds
approx 1/4 cup olive oil


Bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Lower the heat down all the way and whisk in the polenta. Shut the heat, add the butter and continue to stir for 2 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment and pour the hot polenta onto the pan. Smooth it out until relatively even.
Pop the pan into the fridge for about 20-30 minutes or until completely cooled.
You can make the pesto while you wait. Add the garlic and almonds to a food processor, give a few pulses to get a rough chop. Add in the basil and with the processor running, stream in the olive oil. Once well combined stir in the grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cut the polenta into 1 inch squares. Back onto the baking sheet with a bit of space between the squares.
Bake in a 385 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until just slightly golden on the exterior.
Top each square with a little bit of ricotta seasoned with salt and pepper and a bit of that beautiful pesto.


Polenta, in my opinion is absolutely under used. Polenta is simply an Italian cornmeal dish. It can be made creamy, like my Chicken Meatball Marsala over Creamy Polenta or as I did here where it is baked after a quick cook on the stovetop. These Polenta Squares with Ricotta & Basil Pesto have a little bit of everything. The polenta squares are creamy on the inside with a slightly crunchy exterior topped with creamy ricotta and fresh garlicky basil pesto. Whether serving these as an hors d’oeuvre or a side dish, these will be a hit!


Monday, July 14, 2014 - 6:04am


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