Tag Archives: polenta

Polenta Gratin

The past two weeks have been weeks of continuous nervous breakdowns, meltdowns, temper tantrums, and angry rages from me. Work and school together have completely overwhelmed me. Working full-time with special education students and going to school full-time is a lot for anyone, but especially a lot for someone who has severe anxiety like I do. I always get through it and I always manage to make it through, but I think it will cost me some day.

There have been a few good points in the past couple weeks. Such as the Giants are in the World Series against the Rangers. They are playing right now and kicking the Rangers’ butts. I never thought I would be a baseball fan, but it’s really fun to root for a local team.

I’ve also progressed in my rock climbing. This week I made it 3/4 up a 5.9. On Friday there will be a headlamp only climb at the gym and my rock climbing boys and I are so going to do it.

I went on a crazy road trip to Joshua Tree Park which ended up with having to spend a night with a bunch of drunk and stoned metal heads in the desert who wouldn’t stop talking about Kung-Fu. Then coming back we hit a pot hole and destroyed my tire coming down the Grapevine. Oh and then one of my headlights went out.

This has been life the past couple weeks and it’s only bound to get crazier/busier.

I have been cooking but I haven’t been photographing. I dropped my digital camera a couple weeks ago and haven’t been able to buy a new one yet. I get paid on Monday and I am definitely going to purchase  a new digital camera before I leave for Scotland.

That’s right I’m going to Scotland. And no I don’t think I’ll be eating any haggis.

Last week  I made a Grits Gratin with Garlic Arugula. This week I am making the same dish but I going about it a different way. Last week we were a little low on the arugula and there was too much polenta. It was still delicious and Andrew devoured almost the entire pan, but we both agreed that we needed more arugula in it.

So this week instead of pre-cooking the polenta and molding it in on a cutting board in the fridge, I cooked the polenta and mixed it with the garlic and arugula. I tried to make it layered like a lasagna but that didn’t quite work and everything ended up mixing together.

It turned out tasty and quite attractive. I garnished mine with some freshly grated parmesan.


Grits Gratin with Garlic Arugula

Recipe Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything Vegetarian

  • One Recipe Polenta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 cups arugula leaves
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a shallow baking pan.

2. Put two tablespoons of olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is soft, plump, and starting to color. This takes about ten minutes. Add the arugula, sprinkle with salt and pepper, stir gently.

3. Spread half the polenta on the bottom of the greased baking pan. Then add half the arugula mixture. Then spread 1/4  of the polenta. Don’t worry about it mixing. This will happen. Then spread out the rest of the arugula and then the rest of the polenta.

4. Cook for twenty minutes in the oven until the top is browned and a little crunchy.

I garnished mine with Parmesan and a little ground salt.



Polenta Pizza with Hummus and Olives

This week I made a polenta pizza with hummus, olives, salad greens, sprouts, and seaweed. It was pretty tasty and filled with yummy, healthy things.


Adapted from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook


  • 1 cup polenta (cornmeal)
  • 4 cups water
  • hummus (I made homemade hummus earlier in the week, you can use store bought or make your own)
  • kalamata olives, sliced
  • salad greens
  • clover sprouts
  • dried seaweed (nori, mine was green tea flavor)
  • carrots, peeled and julienned

1. Bring 4 cups of water or vegetable stock to the boil. Reduce the heat and whisk in 1 cup coarse polenta (cornmeal). Continue whisking 5 minutes. Replace whisk with a wooden soon and stir until spoon can stand and polenta comes away from sides of pan. Stir in two tablespoons of softened Earth Balance and season with salt and pepper.

2. Spread the mixture over the base of a deep pizza tray (I used a spring form pan because I don’t own a pizza pan). Set aside to cool (this step is essential, I forgot to do this and I think it messed things up a little). Brush the polenta with oil and bake in a preheated oven 400º for ten minutes.

3. Remove the polenta from the oven and spread hummus on top (now, I would suggest cooking the polenta for a little longer and making sure your hummus is room temperature, I had some difficulty spreading it).  Top with olives and carrots. Bake for another twenty minutes. Then add salad greens, sprouts, and seaweed.

I had a really difficult time removing mine from the pan. I think this was because I didn’t let my polenta cool down before putting it in the oven again.