A couple of years ago, I was invited to sit in on one of former Natural Home managing editor Laurel Kallenbach’s book club group meetings in Boulder. For the potluck dinner, all the dishes are both meatless and gluten-free, making it a great place to pick up healthy, delicious recipe ideas. I borrowed this one from book club member Nancy Kiehl, who found it in Bon Appetit. This rich, creamy comfort food is hearty enough to serve as a main dish and elegant enough to serve to guests--perfect for tonight's Meatless Monday dinner.
Brie and Parmesan Polenta
• 5 1/2 cups (or more) water
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 garlic clove, pressed
• 1 1/2 cups coarse-ground or regular cornmeal
• 5 ounces chilled Brie (rind removed), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
• Cayenne pepper
• Ground white pepper
• Ground nutmeg
• Rosemary sprigs (for garnish)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Bring water, salt and garlic to boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually add cornmeal, whisking until smooth. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until thick and creamy, whisking constantly, about 8 minutes.
3. Stir in Brie and half of Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with cayenne, white pepper and nutmeg.
4. Whisk until polenta thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Transfer to greased baking dish, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese, and bake until bubbly and golden, about 20 minutes.
5. Remove from oven, garnish with rosemary and serve. (Note: The polenta can be made up to 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature, which will make the polenta firm up nicely. After standing, bake as directed.)
Reprinted with permission from Bon Appétit, “Entertaining Made Easy,” April 2001.
The addition of Parmesan and Brie cheeses make this a rich dish. Photo by Povy Kendal Atchison