Herbed Polenta with Spring Veggie Hash
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Test Kitchen Approved Recipe

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.

4 servings


  • 1 lb. asparagus, 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. Sel Marin de Guerande Grey Sea Salt, divided (plus more to taste)
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz. Brie cheese, rind trimmed off and diced
  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts sliced
  • 1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 poached or over easy eggs (optional)

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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.

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