Monday, March 05, 2007

Catalan Sauteed Polenta and Butter Beans

I love polenta and frequently seek new ways to prepare it, especially recipes that use quick-cooking polenta or the tubes of pre-made ready-to-use polenta that are available at most grocery and natural foods stores in my area. I usually choose Food Merchant brand pre-made polenta since it is verified to be gluten-free.

This Spanish-inspired dish is a wonderful new polenta option to add to my repertoire. I adapted it from a recipe that was posted on RecipeZaar. However, a quick web search found that the original source of this recipe is Eating Well Magazine. This gorgeous dish is just great - A perfectly balanced vegetarian main dish that is impressively flavorful and satisfying. I used plain paprika, but will try it with Spanish smoked paprika (sweet or spicy) next time. If you can't find butter beans, try replacing the butter beans with cannelini beans - But if you can find butter beans, which are sometimes on the shelf next to lima beans and peas rather than with the beans, they are well worth using for their mild taste and smooth texture. ¡Buen apetito!


1 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
1 (16 ounce) package prepared polenta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 teaspoon paprika, sweet or smoked
1 (15 ounce) can butter beans, rinsed
4 cups baby spinach
3/4 cup vegetable broth
3/4 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons sherry wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add polenta cubes and cook in a single layer, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown (approximately 8 to 10 minutes). Transfer to plate or bowl.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil and the minced garlic to the pan, and cook until fragrant - Approximately 30 seconds. Add onion and bell pepper. Sautee just until tender (3-5 minutes). Sprinkle with paprika and stir. Mix in beans, spinach, and broth. Cook until for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the beans are heated through and the spinach has wilted. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and vinegar. Serve vegetables over polenta. Optional: Sprinkle with extra paprika.

1 comment:

Sea said...

This looks very yummy! I tend to be very lazy with my prepared polenta and just slice it and top it like pizza and then roast it in the oven- but I like your idea better. I'll have to try it... Hmmm, wonder if I have some polenta in the cupboard...


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