On a recent trip to Denver’s Union Station, my mother-in law ordered a wonderful salad at Mercantile Dining and Provision. The ingredient that really stood out was the polenta croutons. I decided to create my own version of the croutons which would make a great change to bread croutons, and I could serve them to my gluten-free friends.
The polenta itself turned out so good that we enjoyed the croutons in the salad one night, using only half of the polenta to make croutons and then I took the other half and made a fabulous vegetarian dish the following night, which I will share in another post.
I used Bob’s Red Mill Organic Polenta Corn Grits for this recipe. I think they have the best tasting polenta of all of the brands I have tried.
|Farmer's Salad with Polenta Croutons - Croutons|
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup polenta/cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- ⅓ grated parmesan (skip this for vegan/dairy free)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried mixed herbs – I like Herbs du Provence
- Bring the water to a boil in a heavy saucepan.
- Add the salt, pepper, herbs and butter/oil.
- Whisk the cornmeal into the boiling water. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the cornmeal thickens and becomes tender, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the parmesan until combined and remove from heat.
- Pour the hot polenta into the oiled container, spreading it out evenly.
- Cover with a plastic wrap or waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat broiler high.
- Turn the polenta out onto a flat surface.
- Cut the polenta into ½ inch cubes and place them on a non-stick sheet pan or a sheet pan lined with non-stick parchment or a silpat.
- Toast the croutons until the edges are browned, turning once or twice.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool until warm.
|Farmer's Salad with Polenta Croutons - Honey Mustard Vinaigrette|
- 1 cup olive oil
- ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Pinch of mixed dried herbs
- Whisk all of the ingredients together.
|Farmer's Salad with Polenta Croutons - Assembling salad|
- 4 cups field greens
- 1-2 carrots, peeled in long ribbons with a vegetable peeler
- 1 large radish, washed and sliced thin
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
- Honey mustard vinaigrette
- Polenta croutons
- Place all of the vegetables into a large bowl or individual bowls.
- Top with the croutons and berries.
- Dress with the vinaigrette.
Serve and enjoy!