Mediterranean Polenta Loaf

We had this yumminess last night for dinner, along with soup and salad.  The recipe is from the Vegetarian Times cookbook, with a few tweaks (they ask for parmesan, I use pepperjack, they grill, I broil).  You can make this creamier by adding butter or a bit more cheese while cooking the polenta.  Next time, I think I will add some crushed red pepper flakes to the boiling water to infuse a little more heat into it, and probably add some fresh parsley and dill for a bit more flavor.

Ingredients

1 cup cornmeal

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

3 oz pepperjack cheese, shredded

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup olives, chopped

1 cup canned artichoke hearts, chopped

Directions

1.  Bring four cups of water to a rolling boil in a saucepan.  Add salt and pepper.  Over medium heat, slowly stir in the cornmeal a little bit at a time, trying to keep lumps from forming.  Cook over medium to low heat, stirring continuously, until the water is absorbed, the cornmeal starts pulling away from the sides of the saucepan, and your spoon can stand up straight in the polenta.

2.  Stir in the cheese until it has melted.  Add the sun-dried tomatoes, olives and artichokes, and mix to distribute evenly.

3.  Spoon into a lightly oiled pan or dish (size and depth do not really matter… just pick a size based on how thick you want your polenta loaf) and put aside to set.  This can be done up to a day in advance of serving.

4.  About 20 minutes before serving, place the polenta loaf under a broiler for about 10 minutes, or until the top of the loaf starts to brown.  Remove from broiler and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Cut the polenta into whatever size pieces you want and serve warm.

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