Sunday, May 11, 2008

Gorgonzola and Black Bean Polenta Squares

When we were in college, our dining hall used to make a meal that consisted of a vat of soft polenta, a vat of black bean puree and a vat of gorgonzola sauce. The flavors were good, but the mushy texture was unappealing. Since we're not going to five-year reunion at the end of this month (dude, we're old), we decided to bring a little bit of college dining to our California kitchen. In this version, whole black beans are mixed into the polenta, which is chilled to achieve a nice firm texture, topped with gorgonzola and broiled until bubbly.

4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 and 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarse-ground polenta
1 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium-sized cast-iron skillet on high heat. Add onions and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until translucent and starting to brown, then add black beans and stir for another five minutes, so the black beans pick up the sweet onion flavor.

In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the vegetable stock and salt to a boil. Slowly pour in the polenta, whisking as you go. Turn the heat down to low, fold in the black bean mixture and remaining two tablespoons of olive oil, and stir frequently for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes, then spread into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Top with crumbled gorgonzola and refrigerate for an hour to firm up.

When polenta is firm, cut into squares and place on a greased cookie sheet. Broil for 5 to 10 minutes, until cheese is starting to brown.


Julie said...

Those look and sound fabulous.

h0n0r said...

Wow. Way to make the cover version more appealing. Or the movie better than the book? Anyway, this sounds excellent. (Also, when I arrived in Denver, there was kale waiting for me in the fridge - congrats on a convert.)

I Heart Kale said...

Thanks Julie! And Honor, kale conversion is our #1 mission right now, so I guess we can just close up shop!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe. THese were great! This was the first time I've cooked with polenta and I'm definately a fan.

I Heart Kale said...

Great--glad you liked it! Polenta is definitely a nice change from other grains.

Monica said...

#1 - I don't remember EVER eating polenta in college. Which house was this?

#2 - Wait a tic! I just liked the blog. Could it actually be written by someone I know from college?

I Heart Kale said...

Hey Monica! This was in Northrop. But I remember seeing it on the RADS menu on the Daily Jolt, which means other houses would have had to serve it, right?

Monica said...

I'm gonna have to keep an eye on this!

I was in Sessions and ate at Cutter-Z, so probably not as adventurous foods there. Sigh. That was such a good dining system though.