Polenta baskets with sautéed spinach and Taleggio cheese

December  3, 2009
Author Notes

I like to use the cold cooked polenta to make different dishes. In this recipe I spread it a little higher then 2 inches, let it cool and then cut circles to fill with spinach and cheese. In this case I chose taleggio because Gorgonzola would kill the spinach, so I opted for a milder cheese. If you have the patience you can even make them smaller and serve as finger food. —Babette's Feast

  • Serves 6
  • Polenta
  • 1 cup polenta flour or pre-cooked
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Spinach and cheese
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves washed
  • 1 garlic clove whole with pink skin
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin live Oil
  • 2 pinches grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup Taleggio cheese cut in pieces
  • Fleur de Sel
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup washed spinach leaves, left raw and thinly sliced
In This Recipe
  1. Bring the water to a boil, add the salt and pour the polenta flour in a steady stream, stirring with a whisk until well blended. When it boils, reduce the heat to the minimum and cook the polenta, stirring from time to time with a wooden spoon for 45 minutes. or until it starts to fall away from the sides of the pan.
  2. Line a deep tray with plastic film, pour the polenta inside and spread evenly keeping it 2 inches thick. Let cool completely until firm.
  3. oil the inside and outside of a narrow glass and cut through the polenta making 2 inch cilinders. With a small spoon, scoop out the inside of the polenta cilinders so you have little baskets.
  4. Put the polenta baskets on a baking tray lined with parchment papper and lightly brush them with olive oil.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  6. Heat the olive oil and the whole garlic over medium heat, add the spinach and very quickly sautée them until they wilt. Discard the garlic and season with a pinch of salt and a pinch of grated nutmeg.
  7. Fill the baskets with the sautéed spinach, cover with cubbed taleggio cheese and bake in the oven until cheese is golden brown and polenta lighly crispy around.
  8. Stack the remaining spinach leaves, roll them and slice them very thinly. Divide on the serving plate. Put the polenta baskets on top, sprinkle with Fleur de sel and some freshly grated pepper.
  9. Serve immediately.
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