Beet Polenta Appetizer Recipe
I love the flavor combination of beets and sage; I've used the same marriage of flavors in soups, pasta dishes and vinaigrettes on multiple occasions. This time, I made a variation of a polenta appetizer and flavored it with this particular pairing.
The beets gave a regal color to the bite-size portions and I repeated the sage flavor in the cream topping. The corn nugget garnish was my "cherry on top" and was a reminder of the cornmeal used for the polenta.
You’ve probably noticed over the years that our family hosts a large number of dinner parties. My favorite part is creating new appetizers because it really levels the playing field for me. First I come up with a flavor combination that I know works incredibly well as my basis, then turn it into a miniature, aesthetically pleasing, unique piece of art. You know the saying: you eat with your eyes first!
Yields: 6 servings1 pound polenta, (about 2-1/2 to 3 cups)
7 cups water, as needed (depending on how firm your want the consistency of the polenta)
2 small red beets, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 fresh sage leaf, torn in half
1¼ cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns, freshly ground
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 (4.5-ounce) package corn nuggets (see tips)
Cooking the beets:
In a large non-stick pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, add half the sage leaf. Add the beets, sugar, and about ¼ cup of water. Cook for 8-10 minutes until bright red and fork-tender. Adjust seasoning. Season with salt. Cover and let stand until the polenta is cooked. Discard the sage.
Brush a griddle pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Place the polenta disks on the pan. Cook for about 3-4minutes until brown on both sides. Season the polenta with a little salt. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
Fine-milled polenta cooks better than coarse. I always look for Italian cornmeal brands that carry finer mill than American ones.
You can prepare the polenta dough the day before. Just pan-sear the polenta slices when you're ready to serve.
Count about 1 part of polenta to 3 parts of liquid.
I often use different sized circle cutters. I shaped my smoked salmon on wonton puffs with them. You can find circle cutters in any restaurant supply store or kitchen store such as Sur La Table.
I bought corn nuggets at Walgreens!Published By: on March 12, 2014.