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A Delicious Fall Appetizer Perfect for Cool Nights

Posted By brosbottom On November 5, 2017 @ 9:56 am In Food News | 14 Comments

Polenta Wedges with Gruyère, Crushed Walnuts, and Rosemary

2 1/2 cups chicken broth or stock
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese plus 3 tbsp for sprinkling on top of the squares (See note.)
3 tbsp unsalted butter plus a little extra to butter the baking dish
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped plus 8 walnut halves, halved lengthwise for garnish
1 1/2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary plus 1tsp extra for garnish
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Butter an 8-inch square glass or ceramic pan generously with butter and set aside.

2. In a heavy medium saucepan over medium high heat, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and gradually, a little at a time, whisk in the cornmeal. Continue to whisk constantly until mixture thickens, 4 to 5 minutes or more. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in 3/4 cup Gruyère and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter. Stir well until both are melted. Stir in chopped nuts and 1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary. Season the polenta with salt and pepper as needed.

3.Immediately, transfer mixture to prepared dish, and using a metal spatula or table knife spread evenly. Cool polenta 15 minutes, and then refrigerate until quite firm, an hour or longer.

4. Using a sharp knife, cut polenta into 16 equal squares, and transfer them, bottom sides (which are smooth) up, to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Dot squares with remaining butter and sprinkle with remaining Gruyère. Place a walnut in the center of each square. (Polenta squares can be prepared 1 day ahead; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature 20 minutes before baking.)

5. Arrange a rack in the middle of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat polenta squares, uncovered, until hot, about 10 minutes. Using a metal spatula, arrange the squares on a serving plate and sprinkle with remaining rosemary. Serve the squares with napkins for holding. Makes 16 servings

Market Note: If available, use a good aged Gruyère as it will have a more pronounced flavor. My local Whole Foods sells aged Gruyères.

Cooking Tip: To toast walnuts, spread on a rimmed baking sheet and place in a preheated 350° F oven until lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Watch carefully so nuts do not burn. Remove and cool.

Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2017

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