Simple Polenta Recipe With Asparagus And Roasted Beets
This post is sponsored by Florida Dairy Farmers in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.
I have to confess that I have never made polenta! Strange, right? I have eaten it at Italian restaurants all along the East coast. I have even eaten it at Tapas restaurants. Now that I have discovered how easy it is to make, I am kicking myself for not making this simple polenta recipe before!
The best polenta recipes in the world were always the creamy ones. As I researched this recipe, I found that the perfect way to achieve the creaminess is by using milk. Pure, unadulterated and 100% whole milk is THE milk to use in this recipe.
It provides volume, texture and taste to the polenta. I couldn’t believe how perfect it turned out. Overall, I am very happy with how my very first simple polenta recipe turned out
June is month that is dedicated to Dairy. It also brings awareness to the how important Milk is for the human body. There are 9 essential nutrients and vitamins in milk – protein, vitamins A, D, and B12, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin, zinc, and magnesium. For me, the B12 is very important because of my vegetarian diet. I try to get about 3 cups of milk daily. Personally, I like to chug it right out of the gallon (Ok, I drink out of a glass because, sadly, I live in a civilized society)
Wouldn’t it be cool to meet the Florida dairy farmers that harvest the milk? I visit their Meet Our Farmers websites frequently.
They also have some amazing sweet and savory recipes that are so easy to make. The kid-friendly ones are very popular mainly because they understand what kids like. I could spend hours on the “On The Farm” life. They are definitely doing something right because they are catching the attention of the media. Click here to see how they are in the news.
Florida Dairy Farmers are made up of more than 130 second and third generation farming families who own their own cows. Their herds range from 150 cows to 5000 cows. My mind is boggled at how much time and energy it takes to herd those many cows! To feed those many cows is a ginormous task. It is so nice to hear that they are fed 170,000 tons of citrus pulp, brewer’s grain, whole cotton seeds and other byproducts. I am sure if our landfills could talk, they would thank the farmers.
Here is an even bigger mind blowing stat – 123,000 Florida cows produce 2.34 BILLION pounds of milk each year. Whew! Think of all the polenta I can make with that much milk!
In our home, milk is used for so many reasons. The main reason is that we make our own yogurt using milk. Sure, we buy store bought yogurt but when we want to make batches of lassi or raita, it is cheaper to make it at home. Making yogurt is so easy. In addition to yogurt, we use it to make Kheer (rice pudding), pancakes, ricotta cheese and paneer.
I felt that asparagus and gold beets would be a great flavor combination to the mild taste of polenta. To add a little spice, I went with red chili pepper. Together, it made this recipe sweet and spicy.
The Florida dairy farmers and Florida milk folks are so accessible and they open up their lives on social media. I am completely mesmerized by their farm life and tidbits from their world. Follow them on social media to be entertained and informed by their captivating experiences.
There are 2 key factors when making polenta. First, soak the polenta in cold water for about 1:30 hours. Second, add a pinch of baking soda to the cold water and polenta. It will help the polenta cook faster.
Incidentally, did you know that Polenta is also known as Italian grits?
Simple Polenta Recipe
1) Do not use cooked polenta for this recipe. Instead, find yellow corn meal in your grocery and use that instead. It is so much better than the cooked stuff.
2) In a bowl, add 4 cups of cold water, 1 cup of yellow corn meal (It is what is known as polenta) and 1/8 tsp of baking soda. Set it aside for 1:30 hours
3) Thoroughly wash the gold beets. Coat them with a thin film of olive oil. Use a brush to coat it evenly. Use a fork to poke holes in the beets, then individually wrap them in foil and roast them in a mini oven at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until you can easily stick a knife into it. If you have an mini oven that can go up to 500 degrees, use it.
4) Cut asparagus into small pieces. Do the same for the red chili pepper. Be sure to remove the seeds from the chili.
5) In a small pan, add 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil. Heat at medium heat for 30 seconds
6) Add the chopped asparagus and red chili pepper to the oil
7) Add 1/4 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of parsely and 1 tsp of thyme. Mix well using the wooden spoon
8) Cook for about 7 minutes. When the asparagus starts to brown, remove from heat and set aside. Make sure they remain crisp yet tender.
9) When the beets are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool down. Then remove the skin and cut them into bite size pieces. Use the same pan as the asparagus to roast the beets. I like to char their skin a little because it makes the beets juicy
10) Add the asparagus back into the same pan and mix well. Add 1 tsp of balsamic vinaigrette and mix well. Set aside
Making the polenta
1) In a pan, add 2 cups of water and 2 cups of milk
2) Add 1 tsp of salt and bring the water and milk mixture to a boil
3) Drain the excess water from the soaking polenta
4) Slowly add the polenta with one hand while using the other hand to stir. Personally, I prefer using a spoon, but, you can use a whisk to stir it. Make sure you are stirring quickly. This will prevent lumps from forming and keep air bubbles at bay
5) Keep stirring until the mixture has completely blended and it has a thickened consistency
6) Remove the polenta from heat and plate it immediately. Top with the asparagus and beet mixture.
Note: Please serve this simple polenta recipe immediately after plating.
Milk in the Morning:
- Blueberry Coconut Muffins by Take a Bite Out of Boca
- Lighter Breakfast Quiche by The Healthy Fit Foodie
- Spinach Artichoke Strata by Helpful Homemade
- Strawberry and Cream Breakfast Smoothie Bowls by Family Foodie
- Strawberry Orange Banana Sunrise Crepes by The Gold Lining Girl
Milk during the Day:
- Fettuccine Alfredo by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Hamburger Gravy by My World Simplified
- Homemade Mozzarella by An Appealing Plan
- Langostino Mac and Cheese with Crispy Bacon and Chives by Pook’s Pantry
- Margherita Penne Pasta by Life Tastes Good
- Simple Polenta Recipe by Healing Tomato
- Summer Corn Soup by Casa de Crews
- Sweet Onion Tart by Flour On My Face
Milk in Desserts:
- Boozy Hazelnut Frozen Hot Chocolate by GO Epicurista
- Cannoli Cupcakes with Chocolate Pistachio Crunch by The Crumby Cupcake
- Chocolate Eclairs by Love and Confections
- Hot Milk Sponge Cake with Blueberries by The Hungry Goddess
- Mini Bread Puddings with Whiskey Caramel Sauce by Dessert Geek
- Nutty Cookies & Cream Ice Cream by Family Around The Table
- Strawberry Milkshake by Desserts Required
- Southern Buttermilk Pie by Sunday Supper Movement
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