Just made these exactly as directed. They were pretty good (very different from the standard holiday party appetizer). Next time I make this, I will spread the polenta in a larger pan, these were pretty thick at almost an inch high and I think they'd be better at just about 1/2 inch. The other change I would make relates to the vinegar: in the photo these appear to have a dark base (soaked in vinegar?) - I think I'd do that rather than splash the tops with it. The flavor is excellent, but the appearance would be cleaner with it this way.
Polenta Squares with Gorgonzola and Pine Nuts
Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
These are also tasty with chopped dried figs or cranberries in place of the currants.
Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 3 topped polenta squares)
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Amount per serving
- Calories: 130
- Fat: 4.2g
- Saturated fat: 1.7g
- Monounsaturated fat: 1.1g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 1g
- Protein: 3.1g
- Carbohydrate: 19.8g
- Fiber: 1.9g
- Cholesterol: 6mg
- Iron: 0.7mg
- Sodium: 268mg
- Calcium: 33mg
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Cooking spray
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 3 tablespoons currants
- 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
- 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Gradually add polenta and salt, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat to low, and cook for 4 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Stir in butter. Spoon polenta into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray, spreading evenly. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of polenta; chill for 1 hour or until polenta is very firm. Cut into 30 squares.
- 2. Combine 1/4 cup boiling water and currants in a small bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes or until currants are plump; drain. Combine currants, cheese, pine nuts, and orange rind in a small bowl.
- 3. Heat vinegar in a small saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 10 minutes). Cool slightly.
- 4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add half of polenta squares to pan, and cook for 6 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove polenta squares from pan, and keep warm. Repeat procedure with the remaining polenta. Top each square with rounded 1/2 teaspoon of cheese mixture, and drizzle with about 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar. Garnish with parsley.
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