Polenta and goats cheese pie – an absolutely wonderful dish for any time of the day and for all occasions. We have even experienced the making of polenta out in the fields of Italy!
Polenta is simply ground, dried yellow corn. More finely ground than corn meal, it produces a thicker texture.
The big question is: are grits and polenta the same thing? They are both made from dried corn but not completely interchangeable. Polenta is yellow corn and a courser grind where as grits are a finer grind and white in color. That being said, if you are not a total traditionalist either would work for this recipe.
Polenta is really a blank canvas for flavor so feel free to adjust it to your own taste by adding your favorite cheese and herbs.
Polenta and goats cheese pie – serves 6 – 8
- 14 oz cherry tomatoes
- 1 large onion, divided (1/2 sliced and 1/2 chopped)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped, divided
- 2 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
- 1 quart + 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups polenta grits
- 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 bunch asparagus tips
- 1/4 cup Parmesan, shaved
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Using a non-stick sheet pan, combine the cherry tomatoes, sliced onion, asparagus tips, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Roast in oven until tender and caramelized; about 25 to 30 minutes. Check and stir ingredients occasionally so not to burn.
- While tomato mixture is roasting, in a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium low heat, and add chopped onions. Increase heat to medium and sauté onions until they begin to brown; about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add chicken broth. Season broth with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir broth to combine. Bring broth to a boil; then reduce to a simmer
- Using a whisk, stir in the polenta grits; mixing continuously to prevent lumps. Cook polenta at a simmer over medium heat for 25 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Ladle more broth into the polenta as necessary. The finished polenta should be a thick, porridge-like consistency. Remove polenta from heat, and mix in goat cheese, and remaining thyme. Stir to combine flavors, and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Pour the polenta into a non-stick, 9-inch round, spring form pan. Let polenta cool completely in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes to properly set. Top Polenta Pie with caramelized tomato, onion mix and the raw asparagus tips.
- Sprinkle with shaved parmesan cheese, drizzle with remaining olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Bake Polenta Pie in a 425F pre-heated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until asparagus is roasted, cheese has melted, and pie is heated through.
- Remove polenta pie from oven, and cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Slice into equal wedges and serve.