Fried Polenta & Mixed Bean Salad

This salad is a hearty vegetarian salad that has quite an impressive presentation.

Polenta is an Italian side dish that is most easily compared to the American southern dish, grits. The difference can be in color (polenta is usually make with yellow corn mean) and the courseness of the corn meal.

This meal is a little more time consuming than most of the recipes I usually cook. This may be a better choice to make on the weekends or on a special occasion when inviting friends over for a nice lunch.

  • 1 cup of Polenta
  • 2 cups of half and half
  • 1 cup of water
  • 6 Roma or Heirloom Tomatoes
  • 1 bag of Field Greens Salad
  • 1 cup of Dried Mixed Beans (for soup)
  • 5 cups of water
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper

In a medium sauce pot, bring the polenta, water, half and half with a pinch of salt to a boil while whisking out any lumps that may form.

Once brought to a boil, bring the heat down to low and continue whisking. Cook and whisk for about 15-20 minutes until the polenta has an oatmeal like consistency.

Once cooked, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread out the polenta. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Over night would be better.

Boil the beans with a bay leaf, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook until al dente, still having a bite to it.

When the polenta has cooled and come together. Cut them into rounds with a cookie cutter, or simply cut into rectangle pieces with a sharp knife.

Heat a non-stick pan with 1 TBL of olive oil on medium-high heat. Crisp up both sides of the polenta rounds. Crisp each side for about 3 minutes. DO NOT turn them over. When ready to flip, carefully use a spatula to flip them over, being careful not to break them.

On a serving plate, top the fried polenta with sliced tomatoes, field greens and mixed beans. Garnish with shredded Pamesan cheese. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a small pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper.

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