This next post is in particular for the link up party “Our Growing Edge” that urbanfoodlover has been invited to be included in the August roundup hosted by Palachinka from “Food and Travel” . So a very BIG Thank you to the talented Genie from the fabulous blog “Bunny Eats Design” for inviting me to this link up party. And I as I told her, I am super excited to take up this challenge. This monthly event aims to connect and inspire bloggers like us to try out new things. What Genie wrote to me was “Maybe you are planning to try a new recipe or a new restaurant or a new ingredient? This is a great opportunity to challenge yourself or a little push in that direction. A Growing Edge is the part of us that is still learning and experimenting. It’s the part that you regularly grow and improve, be it from real passion or a conscious effort.” So no pressures to join, only if you wish to share some kind of your new foodie experiences with everyone. Don’t worry about the fact that what maybe new to you may not be new to everyone else. We all are learning and trying out different foods here and sharing our experiences 🙂
So what is my new foodie experience ? It is “Polenta”. Yes I have never cooked Polenta on my own. I have never eaten it before as well. It was never a household staple while growing up. Guess it is not some staple food in Asian or Indian cooking, hence never heard of it growing up. Sure we had maize flour with which my Mum made some flat breads roasted and eaten with dips. I know about corn flour or corn starch used as a thickening agent. I have eaten corn on the cob – boiled and roasted. But corn in the form of polenta – No I have not 🙂
I did a lot of research on the origins of Polenta and could not find a better source of Information than The Food Timeline’s explanation. Starting off as a pulse pottage being cooked with ingredients barley, spelt, peas and beans, the Corn in Polenta it seems was introduced as a result of the Columbian Exchange. It is fascinating for me to read how various historical events can transform the food habits and ingredients of a particular region. Polenta, I read is a trademark of the Etruscans race invading Italy and having laid the foundation of Italian Cooking with Polenta there. A lot more information here .
In this recipe, I cooked instant polenta as per package instructions – Used 4 cups of Veg stock for 1 cup polenta. Then roasted eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkin, onions, garlic with olive oil and dried Italian herbs. Mixed the roasted veggies with freshly ground black pepper and polenta and serve. I did look around the internet and realised most recipes called for mixing cheeses with polenta and some veggies or grilled meat.
I really liked the taste of the concoction. I am planning to try out polenta with other vegetable combinations. Perhaps even different kinds of mushrooms – oyster, shiitake, porcini, button – a combination of all these.
1 cup Instant Polenta
4 cups vegetable stock
Olive Oil to roast the vegetables
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Dried Italian Herbs
Add the polenta in boiling vegetable stock (I used a organic veg stock cube) and cook for a few minutes. Separatley roast all the veggies – pumpkin, garlic, onions, carrots, tomatoes, eggplant with olive oil and dried Italian herbs in the oven. Once done mix the polenta and roasted veggies. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve!
Here are a few interesting posts that I really enjoyed reading on Polenta and hope to try out some day:
1) Goat cheese, basil, almond pesto , polenta – Sounds super yum. Read here
2) I am not a big fan of poached eggs, but would love to try out polenta with portabella mushrooms and fennel here
3) Roasted cherry tomatoes, pesto , polenata – Very Italian delicious flavors . Read all about it here