Pesto Polenta

by angelika on April 6, 2011

I made pesto pasta the other night, and tonight I was trying to figure out what to do with the left over pesto sauce. I am not one for leftovers usually, which I consider a less than desirable trait of mine. The thing is, once I have eaten a meal, I don’t usually want it again anytime soon. In order to waste less I try to think of ways to reinvent the leftovers instead. Tonight we had a creamy polenta, and in went the pesto sauce. It was divine! The pesto really complimented the flavor of the polenta; I also added some chèvre for just a wee bit of decadence. We will definitely be having this meal again… just not this month. 
Pesto Polenta 

4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups half and half
1 cup coarse yellow polenta cornmeal
3 tablespoons butter
1/2- 1 teaspoon salt

finishing polenta
1/2 cup half and half

1/4 cup pesto sauce
1/4 cup chèvre 

pesto sauce
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 small garlic cloves, pressed
5-6 cups basil, leaves only
1 TBS lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
fresh pepper to taste 
1 cup fresh grated parmesan
I made this polenta using the slow cooker method. If you don’t have a slow cooker you can just do the whole thing on the stove top. Lightly oil and preheat the slow cooker. The cooking time is two hours, so I set mine for 2  hours 15 minutes and let it heat up while I did the stove top steps. 
Bring the half and half, stock and butter to a simmer. Whisk in a cup of polenta and whisk constantly until it comes to a boil. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and whisk, then transfer to the slow cooker if you are using one. If you want to make it on the stove top, keep whisking until it thickens, then switch to a wooden spoon and stir pretty constantly for 20 minutes. 
In the slow cooker the polenta gets such a wonderful texture. It is so rich and creamy, and you barely have to pay attention to it at all. Just lift the lid and give it a stir every 20-30 minutes. When the polenta is done, stir in the pesto and chèvre. You can use prepared pesto if you don’t want to make your own. Test for salt, and add more if you’d like. 

When I plated the polenta I drizzled some extra pesto sauce on top with a dollop of chèvre for garnish. We served this rich and creamy treat with a light Endive and Avocado Salad. Talk about the perfect Tuesday dinner. 
A votre santé! 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

tisa June 9, 2011 at 2:05 am

i made the polenta only part of this tonight (no pesto) topped it with marinara & cheese. i think i could live on it. YUMMMMMMM


Angelika June 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I am so glad you liked it! Polenta is so yummy, definitely one of our favorites these days. :)


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