Friday, March 2, 2018

The Third Friday of Lent

I think we may have a winner for favorite Lenten dinner. Ricotta-Spinach Polenta with Tomato Salad.
Today's weather was stormy to say the least. This dinner was so comforting. Polenta is one of my favorite things but even Chris commented that the meal was delicious.

The polenta was made in the slow cooker. Thank goodness for those slow cooker liners! Clean up was easy.
I added a couple of ingredients to the Tomato Salad. Some sliced celery with the green tops, radishes, and chopped parsley. Nice!

The recipe comes from Adventures in Slow Cooking.

1 1/2 cups polenta (not instant or quick-cooking)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
5 ounces baby spinach (about 5 loosely packed cups)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the eggs
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black  pepper
4 large eggs (optional)
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup whole or part-skim milk ricotta

Combine the polenta with 6 1/2 cups water in a 5- to 7-quart slow cooker.
Add the butter and salt.
Cover and cook on LOW until the polenta is thick and tender, about 6 hours.

With the slow cooker on LOW, stir the polenta well and then stir the spinach into the polenta in 2 batches, covering the cooker and letting the first batch wilt before adding the second, about 5 minutes per batch.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss together the tomatoes, oil, and vinegar.
Season the tomato salad with salt and pepper.

Optional: Pour a thin layer of oil into a large skillet over medium-high heat and crack 4 eggs into the pan. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and cook until the whites are golden brown, lacy on the
edges, and just set in the middle, and the yolks are still a little jiggly, about 3 minutes.

Fold the Parmesan and ricotta into the polenta.
Taste and season the polenta with salt if necessary.
Stir in warm water by the tablespoon if the polenta is looking too thick for your taste—keep in mind it will continue to thicken as it cools.
Top bowls of the polenta with the tomato salad and, if you like, the fried eggs.

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