There is a restaurant in my area that I just love – my favorite lunch item on the menu is a tuscan salad with lettuce, tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, roasted garlic, grilled salmon, and polenta croutons. The polenta croutons always amaze me – how does the chef get the polenta to be so crispy on the outside yet soft and tender on the inside? I have been pondering this question for quite some time now, perhaps years in fact. That is, until I saw a polenta product in the grocery store. San Gennaro produces a pre-cooked polenta that comes in a log-shaped package – click here to see what I purchased (it’s gluten, yeast and sugar free). It has a solid consistency so it can be cut into slices or cubes. I decided to give this a try to see if I could come even somewhat close to what I enjoy at the restaurant.
I took my knife to the polenta, which is ground cornmeal, and formed cubes that were approximately one-inch long and high. I then heated up a sautee pan with a bit of olive oil and cooked the cubes on medium-high heat for 15 minutes total, turning them every few minutes so that all sides got browned.
I tossed them in a salad with lettuce, tomatoes, and asiago cheese, although mozzarella cheese would work just as well. I used the vegetables that we received in our farm share, although the sky’s the limit with the creativity you can use for the salad ingredients. Once the polenta is crispy and golden brown on the outside, toss them into your salad and voila – you have a Dutch (my ancestry) girl’s take on an Italian favorite.
I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.