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Nov 27, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Meatless Monday: Polenta with Poached Egg and Sun-dried Tomato-Herb Pesto

January 21st 02:01pm, 2013



About four times a year, I find myself flying solo at home while my husband is away on business. Naturally, I miss him while he’s gone, but I do relish the opportunity to cook meals I love that he won’t eat, like polenta. This corn-based cousin of mashed potatoes can serve your needs for breakfast, lunch or dinner based on the accoutrements with which you choose to adorn it. I lean toward savory over sweet; my favorite combination involves a poached egg with that deliciously runny middle; a combination of fresh herbs; some sun-dried tomatoes; and plenty of salt and pepper. I also prefer my polenta on the stiffer side, but for those of you who favor a more porridge-like consistency, just increase the amount of water you use and cook it the same way until it’s absorbed.

Polenta with Poached Egg and Sun-dried Tomato-Herb Pesto
4 servings

1 cup basil, coarsely chopped
½ cup fresh oregano, coarsely chopped
¼ cup fresh thyme, coarsely chopped
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. salt plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 cups water
2 cups instant polenta or fine ground cornmeal
3 Tbsp. butter
½ cup Parmesan, shredded
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
Distilled white vinegar or lemon juice

• First, make the pesto. Combine the basil, oregano, thyme and sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl, then add the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside to let the flavors meld.
• To make the polenta, bring the water to a boil in a heavy-bottom pot. Slowly whisk in the polenta (or cornmeal) and immediately reduce heat to a simmer, stirring frequently until the water is absorbed and the consistency is smooth. Add the butter, cheese and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir until everything is melted and combined. Cover and set aside while you poach the eggs.
• Crack the eggs into a shallow bowl. Fill a pot with 3 inches of water and add 1 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar or lemon juice for each cup of water used. Bring the water to just under a boil, then stir it with a spoon to create a vortex or funnel with the water. Slide the eggs into the water, cover the pot with the lid and remove from heat. Let the eggs cook for 7 to 8 minutes.
• While the eggs are cooking, spoon the polenta into shallow bowls. Once the eggs are finished, carefully spoon 1 egg over each bowl of polenta, then top with the pesto. Drizzle with more olive oil and season again with salt and pepper.

By Beth Styles

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One Response to “Meatless Monday: Polenta with Poached Egg and Sun-dried Tomato-Herb Pesto”

  1. amanda Says:
    January 22nd, 2013 at 11:31 am

    that looks amazing! Had polenta already in mind for tonight…

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