I'm thinking I might start a series of post called 'Good Stuff on Polenta.' Thoughts? I am totally addicted to it! Crazy to think that I had never made it before the beginning of this winter, I don't know what I was waiting for really, but now, it's on a weekly rotation around here.
If you grew up in the nineties like me, you probably remember that ridiculous Sunny D commercial, that aired in between Saved by the Bell and City Guys? Well, polenta is my sunny delight. Come home, open the pantry, we got rice, quinoa, some red stuff, hey - what's this in the back? Polenta. Quick, easy, satistifying and goes crazy good with all this gorgeous spring produce. Not to mention easy on the budget and a little goes a long way.
Here in France, white asparagus is traditionnally served smoothered in a creamy hollandaise, and while the sauce isn't really my thing, the asparagus definetly is. We've had it shaved raw in salads a few times, but nothing brings out the sweet nutiness of asparagus quite like a good roast. Paired up with a super zesty pesto and a few other spring touches, I couldn't resist piling it all on top of a fluffly bed of yellow polenta. Polenta Delight, friends. The good stuff kids go for.
Roasted White Asparagus & Polenta with Zesty Spring Pesto
Good spring dishes don't need much. Fresh, local produce, good quality olive oil and lots of citrus and herbs. Serve with some rocket and sliced radished lightly dressed for an extra spring touch! Vegan and Gluten free. Serves 2.
Psst. Watch out for stinky pee!
Zesty Spring Pesto
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds (or other nut or seed)
- 1/4 cup each fresh parsley and chervil
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons, or more, extra virgin olive oil
- 10-15 stalks asparagus, green or white or mixed
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup instant polenta (organic, non-gmo if you can, check those labels!)
- 2 cups water (or more, depending on how thick you like your polenta)
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon zest and black pepper
- Sprinkling of chopped chives
- Handful fresh rocket and a few radishes, thinly sliced
What to do
- Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C and trim off the woody ends of the asparagus
- Place on a baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Roast in the oven until tender and just brown, about 15 minutes.
- Bring water to a boil in a small pot and season with salt
- While the asparagus is cooking, make the pesto by combining all the ingredients in a small blender. Add a bit more olive oil or water if it needs thining. Set aside.
- Once the water in boiling, reduce to simmer and add in polenta while stirring constantly to avoid clumps. Once it starts to thicken, remove from heat and cover.
- Can be assembled either on individual plates or on one big platter, place a dollop of polenta on the plate, top with roasted asparagus and then pesto. Garnish with finishing touches and serve immediately. (Pesto can be made ahead of time).