Heavy Rotation: Polenta, Goat's Curd & Tomato Salad

Monday, May 24, 2010

This dish, first enjoyed at my lovely neighbor Catherine's, haunted me for days before I finally got my act together and made it.

It has been on heavy dinner rotation ever since.

CB, who normally dismisses anything leafy as inadequate for the evening meal, devours it every time.

The key lies in the sizzling chorizo and grilled polenta - both hearty and hot enough to keep things from drifting into girly salad territory.

When serving myself, I double up on spinach and tomatoes and cut back on polenta and sausage, thus deferring my inevitable trip to the cardiologist for another day.

Meat for him, salad for her, and everyone is happy.

Polenta, Mozzerella Goat's Curd And Tomato Salad 
(adapted from Donna Hay's Magazine, 50th Issue Edition, Warm Salads article)
serves 4

3 cups (750ml) chicken stock
1 cup instant polenta
60g butter, chopped
 ½ cup (40g) 1 cup finely grated parmesan
sea sald and cracked black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
300g truss cherry tomatoes
2 chorizo, sliced
80g 125g baby spinach leaves
360g buffalo mozzerela, torn ½ cup goat's curd

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed minced

Preheat oven to 220℃ (425℉).  Place the stock in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil.  Gradually whisk in the polenta and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat and stir through the butter, parmesan, salt and pepper.  (At this point, I found my polenta to be too thick and mealy; by adding a bit of hot water, just a splash at a time, I eventually got the creamy - not runny - consistency and volume I was after.  Play this step by ear.)  Pour into a lightly greased 20cm X 20cm tin and refrigerate for 45 minutes or until set.  Turn out onto a board and cut into wedges.  Place on a lightly greased baking try and drizzle with oil.  Roast for 15 minutes or until golden and crisp.  Set aside and keep warm.

While the polenta is roasting, make the dressing.  Place the vinegar, oil and garlic in a bowl and stir to combine.  Pour the vinegar and garlic into a glass jar, season with sea salt and ground pepper, screw on the lid and shake until the salt disolves.  Add the oil and shake vigorously until the dressing is emulsified. Set aside.

Place the tomatoes and chorizo on a baking tray and drizzle with oil.  Roast for 3-5 minutes or until the chorizo is crisp and the tomatoes are tender.  Scatter the spinach leaves on the plates or platter, top with the polenta, followed by the tomatoes and chorizo.  Dot with goat's curd and spoon over the dressing.



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