Polenta baskets with sautéed spinach and Taleggio cheese

December  3, 2009
3 Ratings
  • Serves 6
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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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8 Reviews

CaliforniaRenata September 28, 2012
I actually used a muffin tin and foil muffin cups to ladle in the polenta in. Does not stick, and you can skip the cutting it into circles, and the cups have a pretty scalloped edge from the baking cups.
TasteFood December 4, 2009
The baskets are a great idea. Just in time for holiday cocktail parties!
Maria T. December 4, 2009
I agree. For cocktail food use a small cutter oiled both inside and outside to make them bite size and use a really small spoon to make the hole. Thank you for the comment.
Babette's F. December 4, 2009
Don't understand how the reply didn't come under my name!
TheWimpyVegetarian December 4, 2009
This is a wonderful presentation idea. I'm definitely going to do this! Thanks for submitting this.
Babette's F. December 4, 2009
Wow, I am so happy you liked my baskets, I think they came out very cute and tasty as well. Thank you for your kind words.
aargersi December 4, 2009
I love the little edible baskets! They could be filled with any number of things ... I will definitly be trying this
Babette's F. December 4, 2009
Yes, I can imagine so many things to fill them with as well. Do make them high so you can carve inside and have a deep hole, you want a thin crispy container rather then a thick one. Thank you for your kind words.