Recipe: Herbed Polenta with Spring Veggie Hash
Spring has sprung with this vegetarian comfort food dish, inspired by the flavors of France. Pair it with a glass of Chablis for a refreshing dinner or with champagne and orange juice for a hearty brunch.
- 1 lb. asparagus spears, ends trimmed
- 1 cup fresh or frozen shelled peas
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup polenta (coarse-ground cornmeal)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. Herbes de Provence
- 1 1/2 tsp. grey sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 4 oz. Brie cheese, diced and rind trimmed off
- 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
- 1 large leek, white and light green parts sliced
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (raw or roasted)
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 4 poached or over easy eggs (optional)
This recipe is featured in Spice Club, Savory’s spice of the month club. Here are substitution suggestions for adapting the recipe to different palates:
- Vegan: Substitute milk with unsweetened soy milk or almond milk, or replace it with vegetable broth or water. Omit Brie, or use a mild vegan cheese. Use a dairy-free butter. Omit optional eggs.
- Vegetarian: No substitutions needed.
- Gluten-free: No substitutions needed.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Add asparagus and boil for 3 min.; add peas for the last 30 seconds. Drain veggies into a colander and rinse under cold water until veggies are no longer hot. Cut asparagus into about 2-inch pieces and return to colander. Set veggies aside.
In the same saucepan, bring milk and water to a boil. Gradually stir in polenta. Reduce heat to low and add Herbes de Provence, 1 tsp. sea salt, and a dash of pepper. Simmer over low heat for about 10 min., stirring frequently, until thick and creamy. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and 3 Tbsp. butter. Season with additional sea salt and pepper to taste. Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, sunflower seeds, remaining ½ tsp. sea salt, and a dash of pepper. Cook for about 5 min. until leeks and seeds start to brown. Add lemon zest and reserved veggies and cook for 2 more min. Remove from heat.
Divide polenta among 4 plates and top each with veggie hash and egg of choice (if using). Finish with a sprinkle of sea salt to taste.