Soft Polenta with Leeks

Rick Cooks Home Soft Polenta with Leeks

Okay, we have this thing for polenta. And leeks. Funny, we never thought about them together, until I found this recipe in Bon Apétit.

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This recipe originally accompanied Lemon-Sage Cornish Game Hens with Tomato-Porcini Sauce.

If you can get it, use stone-ground cornmeal; it's grainier than regular cornmeal and gives the dish a slightly crackly texture.

3 tablespoons butter
3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced 2 1/4 cups (or more) water
2 cups canned chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 cup polenta*

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

*Sold at Italian markets, natural foods stores and some supermarkets. If unavailable, substitute 1 cup regular yellow cornmeal, and cook leek-cornmeal mixture for about 15 minutes rather than 35 minutes.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks; stir to coat. Cover and cook until leeks soften, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add 2 1/4 cups water, broth and bay leaf. Bring to boil. Gradually whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until mixture is thick and creamy, stirring often and thinning with more water if necessary, about 35 minutes.

Remove pan from heat. Discard bay leaf. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter and Parmesan cheese. Season polenta to taste with salt and pepper. Divide polenta among plates.

Serves 4.

Bon Appétit
February 1999