About this recipe:Grilled slices of polenta topped with a creamy, melting mixture of Gorgonzola and ricotta cheeses is a delicious dish, ideal for a tempting starter. It is served hot with a garnish of mixed salad leaves.
750 ml (1¼ pints) vegetable stock
170 g (6 oz) instant polenta
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or marjoram
115 g (4 oz) Gorgonzola cheese
115 g (4 oz) ricotta cheese
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
mixed salad leaves to garnish
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Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan. Add the polenta in a steady stream, stirring constantly, and cook for about 5 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until the mixture has thickened and is pulling away from the sides of the pan.
Stir in the parsley and oregano or marjoram, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the polenta onto a greased baking tray and spread out to make a rectangle about 20 x 18 cm (8 x 7½ in) and 1 cm (½ in) thick. Leave in a cool place to set for about 1 hour.
Preheat the grill to high. In a bowl, mash the Gorgonzola with the ricotta cheese and set aside. Brush the top of the polenta lightly with the oil, then cut into 12 rectangles, each about 5 x 6 cm (2 x 2½ in). Place on the rack of the grill pan, oiled side up, and grill for 8–10 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.
Turn the polenta slices over and top with the Gorgonzola mixture. Grill for a further 2–3 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is beginning to brown. Serve immediately, garnished with mixed salad leaves.
Some more ideas
Substitute other herbs such as rosemary, basil or sage for the oregano or marjoram. * For grilled polenta with sauted leeks and herbs, make the polenta mixture without the herbs. Melt 45 g (1½ oz) butter in a pan, add 2 finely chopped leeks and 2 crushed garlic cloves, and cook over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in 3 tbsp dry sherry and simmer briefly, then stir in 2–3 tbsp chopped fresh mixed herbs and season to taste. Grill the polenta slices for 5–10 minutes on each side, then top with the hot leek mixture and serve.
Like wheat and other grains, maize – from which polenta is made – is rich in starchy carbohydrate and low in fat. * Gorgonzola is a semi-hard, blue-veined cheese with a rich, full flavour, whereas ricotta is much milder, and lower in fat. Mixing the two cheeses together helps to keep the total fat content of this dish healthy.