Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Polenta with greens, eggs, and creamy tomato sauce recipe

As a kid, I never liked my foods to touch each other (who am I kidding, it's still true with some dishes), but I distinctly remember the first time that I tried grits and scrambled eggs together.  My uncle convinced me to stir them up in one bowl, and I loved it.  This is the grown-up version of grits and scrambled eggs - polenta with tomato sauce, sauteed spinach, and a fried egg.  This was a simple meal that had sophisticated flavor (perfect for inviting people for dinner at the last minute).  I found the basic recipe in January's cookbook of the month, but then added the book's basic tomato sauce recipe.  I'm glad I made the addition - it was the perfect complement to the meal, plus it gave me a lot of tomato sauce for pasta later in the week.  And it was one of the best tomato sauces that I've ever made thanks to the secret ingredient, cream cheese.

Now that I've tried a handful of recipes from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health, I can conclusively say that I love it.  It surpasses the other Moosewood books, which is saying a lot.  I appreciate that there's a lot of variety, including several gluten-free recipes.  Everything that I tried turned out really well, and I'm having trouble picking my favorite, so I guess I'll just say that I loved the gluten-free apple and rice bran muffins, the dried fruit, nut, and coconut truffles, the eggplant, ricotta, and walnut pasta, the Mexican rice and pepper-stuffed portabellas, and this polenta recipe.  It's tempting to stick with this book for another month, but I'll move on to another one.  Don't be surprised if you see it popping up again soon, though.

Polenta with greens and eggs (adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health)
(Printable version)

3 cups water
pinch of salt
1 cup stone-ground corn grits (polenta)
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan
1 Tbsp oil + 1 tsp, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
10 oz spinach
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
4 eggs

Bring the water and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Slowly whisk the grits into the water, reduce heat to low, and cook while whisking frequently until the polenta pulls away from the side of the pan (about 20 min).  When it's done, add the butter and parmesan.

While the polenta is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add the garlic and red pepper, and saute for a minute.  Then add spinach, cover, and cook until it wilts (about 3 min).

Just before serving, heat remaining 1 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add eggs and cook until the whites are firm.

Serve a few spoonfuls of polenta topped with tomato sauce (recipe below), if desired, and spinach and an egg.  Serves 4.

Creamy tomato sauce (adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health)
(Printable version)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp red wine
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup basil, chopped
3 oz. cream cheese

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic, and cook until tender.  Then add the carrots, bell pepper, salt, pepper, oregano, and wine.  Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft.  Add the tomatoes, recover, and simmer for 10 min.   Stir in the basil and cream cheese, puree in a blender or food processor, and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.  Makes about 5 cups.


Tasty Eats At Home said...

OOh, I should totally try this the next time I'm making breakfast for the hubby and cooking up grits/polenta! I love egg in my polenta, and I love spinach, so why not?

Michelle @ Find Your Balance said...

Ooh that IS a nice sounding sauce. Yummy. I have had some good success with Moosewood cookbooks but will have to check out this one in particular!

Katie said...

Alta - It would definitely be a great breakfast. I'm usually too hungry to wait for anything to cook, but I wish I had the patience for it in the morning...

Michelle - I highly recommend it!