I’ve been a little obsessed with eating beautiful ripe organic peaches with soft and warm organic polenta, with just a sprinkle of brown sugar. The flavors of the corn and peaches are surprisingly complimentary and make for a comforting and satisfying breakfast, or even, as a dessert.
While I usually eat this while the polenta is soft, I decided to take it up a notch this morning by allowing the polenta to set for an hour and then sautéing it to get a crisp crust on it while keeping the inside soft. The result was a wonderful and pretty dish that could easily be made to accommodate larger groups. I also found some gorgeous organic Calimyrna figs at the market, so I’ve added those into the mix.
|Polenta and Peach Obsession|
- 2 cups Bob's Red Mill Organic Polenta (hands down, the best polenta)
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 ripe peaches
- 4 ripe figs
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Light olive, canola or corn oil for frying.
- Handful of mint leaves
- Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan.
- Slowly pour the polenta into the water in a steady stream while whisking constantly.
- Switch to a long handled wooden spoon, as the polenta can bubble and spit.
- Stir in the salt and butter.
- Reduce the heat to low and continue to stir every two to three minutes as the mixture begins to thicken.
- Once it is thick, after about 20 minutes of cooking, pour the mixture into a 8 x 8 inch buttered glass or ceramic baking dish and smooth out with a spoon or spatula.
- Cover with some waxed paper or foil and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
- Once the polenta is set, carefully remove it from the dish by placing a flat sheet pan or plate over the top and flipping it over. It should come out of the dish very easily.
- With a sharp knife cut the square first in quarters and then in eights on the diagonal (see photo).
- Heat some oil in a sauté pan.
- Once the oil is hot, place the polenta slices in the pan and sauté for 4-5 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and crisp (the corn can pop and spit hot oil here so be careful. I usually wear a large oven mitt).
- Transfer polenta slices to a serving dish.
- Slice the peaches, quarter the figs and arrange the fruit on the polenta slices.
- Roughly chop the mint and scatter over the slices.
- Just before serving, sprinkle a little brown sugar over each polenta slice.
- Serve as is or with a dollop of creme fraiche or whipped cream.
If you'd like to serve this as a dessert, you could garnish it with some whipped cream, creme fraiche or vanilla ice cream.
This can easily be made vegan by using oil instead of butter.