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Photo: Karry Hosford Photo by: Photo: Karry Hosford

Polenta with Fontina and Spinach

Fontina is one of the great cheeses of Italy. It has a mild, creamy flavor and melts well, making it super-versatile. You can use almost any cheese in this side dish, though; try Parmesan for a sharper, nutty flavor.

Cooking Light MAY 2002

  • Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)


  • Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups chopped spinach (about 3 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded fontina or Parmesan cheese


Heat a medium nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add spinach; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Remove from heat.

Combine water and broth in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Gradually add polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat to medium; cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in spinach mixture, salt, and pepper.

Spoon polenta mixture evenly into a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Press plastic wrap onto surface of polenta; chill 2 hours or until firm.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Remove polenta from pan; place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over polenta. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes. Cut polenta into wedges, using a sharp knife. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 126
  • Calories from fat: 30%
  • Fat: 4.2g
  • Saturated fat: 1.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2g
  • Protein: 5.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 16.9g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Cholesterol: 9mg
  • Iron: 1.8mg
  • Sodium: 419mg
  • Calcium: 106mg

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Polenta with Fontina and Spinach Recipe