Polenta-Black Bean Medallions with Spicy Salsa

This polenta and black bean recipe is a fun dish that can be made into an appetizer when cut into medallions or a main dish if you prepare it as a casserole topped with assorted steamed vegetables. Either way, it’s great served with a spicy salsa and guacamole. This recipe freezes well for weeks, so make a double batch for a ready meal whenever needed.


4½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water

½ cup chopped leek, white part only

1½ teaspoon ground oregano

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup quick-cooking polenta

1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Tomato salsa and guacamole (recipes not included)

1. In a large saucepan combine ½ cup of the broth and the leek, oregano, garlic, cumin, turmeric, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 2 to 3 minutes or until leek is tender. Add the remaining 4 cups broth. Return to boiling.

2. Slowly add the polenta to the boiling broth mixture, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture returns to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered, 30 minutes or until all of the broth is absorbed, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Gently stir in beans and lemon juice. Cook 5 minutes more.

3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread polenta on one of the prepared baking sheets until it’s ½ inch thick; cool. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a 1½-inch cookie cutter, cut chilled polenta into 9 or 10 rounds, and place on the remaining prepared baking sheet. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through and golden, turning once. Serve with your favorite salsa and guacamole.

Makes: 10 medallions; Ready in: 2 hours 15 minutes

Photo by: Kristy Turner, Keepin It Kind (keepinitkind.com)