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)
Darshana Thacker is chef and culinary project manager for Forks Over Knives, an organization that empowers people to live healthier lives by changing the
way the world understands nutrition. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she’s known for her hearty and distinctly flavorful creations, which draw
inspiration from a wide range of ethnic traditions. Chef Darshana was the recipe author of Forks Over Knives Family and a lead recipe contributor for the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan.