Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Broiled Polenta with Peppers, Leeks, and Feta

Sweet peppers are in full swing in September and early October, the same time that leeks start to come in. Enjoy them here with feta and a bit of oregano. Use frying peppers (the longer, pointier ones) if you can get them; otherwise bells are fine.

3 cups water
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 cup polenta cornmeal
Olive oil
3/4 cup tomato sauce
4 medium leeks, in thin rounds
2 ripe frying peppers, diced
2 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 oz. crumbled feta
3 oz. shredded mozzarella

In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt, and whisk in the polenta meal. Lower the heat to a simmer and continue to stir with a spoon. Be careful, as the cooking polenta is viscous and can bubble up and burn you. Cooking time will vary with the type of polenta you are using. The kind I get at Green Fields Market, in the bulk section, thickens up very quickly. You want it to be pretty stiff for this application. When the polenta is cooked, remove from heat, cover, and set aside for now.

Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet. Add the leeks and peppers and saute for 5-7 minutes, until tender. Add the oregano, salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Preheat the broiler.

Oil a 10-inch oven-proof skillet or a 7x11-inch baking dish. Spread the cooked polenta in the bottom. Top with the sauce, then the leek and pepper mixture. Sprinkle with feta, then top with mozzarella.

Broil the polenta for 4-5 minutes, until the cheese begins to brown. Serve hot.

Serves about 4.

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