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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Baked Polenta with Leek-Tomato Sauce

I love leeks, with the result being that I try to stick them in just about everything.  Leeks go amazingly well with both polenta and red peppers.  This dish is extremely colorful - yellow, green, and red.

Baked Polenta with Leek-Tomato Sauce
About 3 hours from start to finish, much inactive
Serves 3 as a main meal, 5-6 as a side


5 cups water
1 1/3 cup coarse corn meal
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt

3 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, chopped and washed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 roasted red or yellow pepper, diced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ tsp dried rosemary
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp molasses
1 tsp dried tarragon (optional)

1. In a pot, bring the water to a boil.  Add the garlic, olive oil, and salt.  Slowly stir in the corn meal.  Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes, uncovered, stirring frequently until polenta is thick and smooth.  Pour polenta into a 10 inch pie pan (or other shallow dish).  Let set for at least 45 minutes or overnight.
2. Once polenta has set, cut it into thick slices (like a pie).  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat polenta slices in olive oil and lay out on a baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes, then flip slices with a spatula and bake for another 10 minutes.
3. While polenta is baking, make the sauce.  Heat the olive oil in a pan and once hot, add leeks.  Saute for a minute or two and then add garlic.  Saute for another minute, then add the diced tomatoes and the roasted red pepper. 
4. Cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes to bring out the juices from the tomatoes and peppers.  While the sauce is cooking, add the lemon juice, rosemary, salt, molasses, and tarragon.

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