Do you even need me to say anything else? Can I be excused? I have a ton of things to do today, like mostly make more goat cheese polenta.
Also high on the list today – get back to my real life! which includes writing this post where I will go on to gush about the goat cheese polenta and tell you about my ten glorious non-internet days at the cabin and then get back to the topic at hand of POLENTA GOALS. Somehow that all doesn’t really feel like a real life. But hey. Back to it.
So yes indeed! After ten restful days away from my very professional home office (which is actually a hand-me-down desk squeezed into a tiny corner by the window of our guest room which is currently also triple-functioning as Sage’s bedroom – small house probs), I’m back in action at the keyboard, bribing myself to get back in gear with a coffee and fresh banana bread this morning – tis a blogger’s life for me!
And it’s a pretty happy life right now considering that I am coming off of ten days where the most important things I did were: sitting on the dock, going for woodsy runs, binge-reading all the best mind-candy books, making dinner for my family, and of course, completing my one annual wakeboarding run to prove to myself that even though I now make a living by being an internet nerd, I still have a slice of cool-person youth left in me. STILL GOT IT. Also important: over the course of the vacation, I averaged a lovely ten hours of sleep a night and it was pretty much EVERYTHING. I know. File that statement under Ways To Get People To Hate You.
But also making this morning happy is the fact that the memory of these roasted tricolor tomatoes and sautéed garlic spinach on a creamy pillow of goat cheese polenta is still very fresh, very vivid, very much burned into my mind in the best possible way.
How To Make Our Goat Cheese Polenta (1 MIN):
Alright now. What to even say about this dish? It’s so simple and so SUMMER to me.
Fresh, juicy tomatoes, vibrant green spinach, and a creamy goat cheese polenta – maybe topped off with some Parm and fresh basil from my very own little garden? I dunno. I like to dream big.
We made a few versions of this before settling on this one – and you need to know this: don’t skip the spinach. Since you’ll sauté the spinach with the garlic, it has tons of must must must have flavor. And without it, the overall combination will be yummy but not WOWS yummy for people like use who need that roasty-garlic-depth packed into every bite.
It’s no surprise to anyone that I looked forward to the leftovers every single day until they were gone, and this is evidenced by my lovingly photographed plastic container of polenta and tomatoes and spinach at the end of this post. Plastic food storage container photos? I’m not above that. I packed it all up post-cooking and it looked so pretty smiling back at me from the container with all its rainbow tomato beauty – I just couldn’t not.
It’s not meatless Monday but it’s going to be a meatless win for dinner tonight in our house involving dangerous amounts of creamy goat cheese polenta.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash the tomatoes, place on a baking sheet, and pat dry. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Roast for 10 minutes, gently turn the tomatoes, and repeat until the tomatoes are browned, about 30 minutes. I turned the heat up to 450 at the end to get more browning action.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy pan. Add the garlic and saute gently until fragrant, but do not brown – browned garlic tastes bitter and gross. When the garlic is smelling awesome, add the spinach and turn off the heat. You should be able to just keep stirring the spinach around for a minute and it will wilt and reduce in size. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel.
In the same pan, bring the water to a boil. Add the polenta and whisk until smooth. Simmer for 15 minutes or so until the polenta has thickened. Add the goat cheese and the salt and stir until smooth. Taste and adjust as necessary. Serve the polenta immediately with the tomatoes and the spinach.
The polenta thickens and hardens as it starts cooling – but for this recipe, I liked the polenta soft, so if you need to loosen it up a bit, just add some water or milk and whisk until smooth.
You CAN make polenta just using cornmeal – you can follow the directions in this recipe if you’re doing that. But I will say that I liked using the actual polenta corn grits this time – I felt like the consistency was better.