Today was a spectacular day. The weather was absolutely perfect. I was finally home and not recovering from a long run and able to garden. I used to think that I liked gardening, but I really could take it or leave it. Nonetheless it was a perfect day to spend outside and I didn't just plant flowers. The girls and I planted some herbs and a few vegetables which are more of an experiment.
Despite the fact that I was working outside all afternoon, I was able to multitask and create a pretty smokin' dinner to boot. During the summer on Sundays when we're home, I usually go a little crazy on the bar-b-que and grill a ton of veggies and create some crazy concoction. Today's turned out pretty well if I do say so myself.
It is a multi-stepped meal, so you do need to start a few hours early. But each step takes under 15 minutes so it doesn't feel like you're locked in the kitchen.
Grilled Bruschetta Polenta with Portabella Mushrooms
3 cups water
1 1/4 cup corn meal
2 tsp salt
1 clove garlic minced
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
Bring the water to boil. Add the salt and garlic. Slowly pour in the corn meal, stirring the entire time. Continue to stir the mixture. It will thicken quickly. When the spoon is able to stand on its own in the polenta its ready. Stir in the basil. Pour mixture into a parchment lined 9x9 pan and smooth with a spatula. Let stand until set - at least 2 hours.
1 tomato seeded and chopped
2 tsp olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp finely chopped basil
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Mix above ingredients and let sit while you prepare the rest of the meal.
2 portabella mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt and pepper
Mix olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over mushrooms.
Putting it all together:
Preheat your grill. Place mushrooms gill side up for about 10 minutes to begin cooking. Turn once, for about 2 minutes, then turn back over.
Remove the polenta from the pan and cut into equal squares. Brush generously with oil to prevent the polenta from sticking to the grill. Have your bar-b-que turned to medium. Place polenta on the grill and close the lid. After 5 minutes carefully flip the polenta and put the bruschetta mixture on the polenta. Close the lid again. After 3 minutes sprinkle with cheese if desired. Once the cheese has melted removed polenta and mushrooms from the grill. Slice mushrooms and pile around your polenta.