Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader's Digest CanadaMarch 4, 2008
Broiled slices of herbed polenta topped with a creamy, melting mixture of Gorgonzola and ricotta cheeses is a delicious dish, ideal for a tempting starter. It is served hot with a garnish of salad greens.
Bring the stock to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the polenta in a steady stream, stirring constantly, and cook for about 5 minutes, or according to the package instructions, until the mixture has thickened and is pulling away from the sides of the saucepan.
Stir in the parsley and oregano or marjoram, and season with pepper. Pour the herbed polenta onto a greased baking sheet and spread out to make a rectangle about 20 x 18 cm and 1 cm thick. Leave in a cool place to set for about 1 hour.
Preheat the broiler. In a bowl, mash the Gorgonzola with the ricotta cheese and set aside. Brush the top of the polenta lightly with the oil, then cut into 12 rectangles, each about 5 x 6 cm. Place on the rack of the broiler pan, oiled-side up, and broil until the tops are lightly browned.
Turn the polenta slices over and top with the Gorgonzola mixture. Continue to broil until the cheese has melted and is beginning to brown. Serve at once, garnished with salad greens.
Herbed polenta with gorgonzola variations: You can substitute other herbs such as rosemary, basil or sage for the oregano or marjoram. • For grilled polenta with sautéed leeks and herbs, make the polenta mixture without the herbs. Melt 3 tablespoons margarine in a pan, add 2 finely chopped leeks and 2 crushed garlic cloves, and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in 4 tablespoons dry sherry and simmer briefly, then stir in 2–4 tablespoons chopped fresh mixed herbs and season to taste with pepper. Broil the polenta slices until the tops are lightly browned on each side, then top with the hot leek mixture and serve.
Per serving: 264 calories, 8 g protein, 11 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 18 mg cholesterol, 33 g total carbohydrate, 5 g sugars, 2 g fibre, 937 mg sodium
Like wheat and other grains, corn (from which polenta is made) is rich in starchy carbohydrate and low in fat. Gorgonzola is a semi-hard, blue-veined cheese with a rich, full flavour, while ricotta is much milder, and lower in fat. Mixing the two cheeses together helps to keep the total fat content of this dish healthy.