Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Polenta with Gorgonzola and Almonds

Oh my, this is the most luscious polenta we have eaten in a while. We could have eaten the whole pot if not careful. It is so creamy and sweet, with a nice crunch from the almonds. Really it so richly flavored that we would even happily eat it as a dessert. We ate the polenta along with tofu baked in a honey-Dijon sauce and some green beans sauteed with garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

The recipe is very easy and quite quick, taking only minutes to prepare. The trick is that the recipe calls for quick cooking polenta, so instead of stirring the pot of polenta for a long time, it only takes 5 minutes of stirring. However, the polenta that I purchased was super quick cooking polenta, and only needed one minute of stirring. A gourmet meal in one minute!

The brand I used was de la Estancia Organic Polenta. It is not an instant product even though it only needs a minute to cook. The package says that it is not pre-cooked nor processed, and that the reason it is naturally quick-cooking is because it has a low starch content and a super fine grind. Since I used this polenta, I did need to alter the amount of liquid ingredients in the recipe. The recipe calls for 5 cups total of liquids, but I reduced that to 3 cups total per the package recommendation. I would read the package directions to be sure of the cooking time and liquid amounts required for the particular brand.

Polenta with Gorgonzola and Almonds
Gourmet Magazine April 2008

3 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk
salt (around 1 1/2 teaspoons total, divided)
1 cup quick-cooking polenta
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces Gorgonzola dolce
1/3 cup unsalted roasted almonds, chopped or sliced
freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring water, milk and 3/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large heavy bottomed sauce pan. Sprinkle in the polenta and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 5 minutes (or per package directions).
2. Remove from heat and whisk in Parmesan and butter. Serve sprinkled with Gorgonzola, almonds and freshly ground black pepper.


jj said...

Sounds and looks wonderful .. and the added bonus of being easy to prepare is great. Thanks!

Pieceful Jane said...

I have to say, this sounds pretty good! But I am curious about the carbohydrate numbers in this dish per serving.

Kathleen said...


Jane, I am not sure about the total carb numbers, factoring in the nuts, cheese, etc. But the package of polenta lists the carbs as 27g or 9% for a 35g serving. 0 sugars. As a comparison, I checked my bag of yellow cornmeal (which has a much coarser grind and is a different brand), and it lists the exact same amounts. It says that 35g is approx 1/4 cup. I wonder, do they mean 1/4 cup before it is cooked, or after it is cooked?

Pieceful Jane said...

Thanks Kathy. I would guess it is before cooking if it didn't say "as prepared" or something of that nature. The nuts would not add enough carbs to be a concern, but the cheese and milk would definitely be a factor. I guess I will need to do a little homework before I know if this is something I can safely have. Diabetes can be a real bummer sometimes.

Kathleen said...

I am sure you could skip the milk completely. Substitute either water or broth for the milk. And you could just add the amount of cheese you are comfortable with. Gorgonzola and parmesan both have deep flavors, so a little can go a long way.

Kathleen said...

For a lower fat/calorie version, you could omit the Gorgonzola and top it instead with Caramelized Onion and Fennel: