Creamy Blue Cheese Polenta with Veggies

by Kelli H. on October 5, 2011

I used to hate polenta. 
It’s true. 

That changed for me in 2006. I was working for one of my past cooking teachers at a local K-8 school. We made the lunches for this school and I’m not talking school lunches you’re used to. This was an extremely ritzy private school. We made lunches using fresh local organic ingredients. Sometimes we got fresh veggies from the kids parents gardens. It was such a fun job and I remember I was a little sad when the school year ended.

One thing I learned cooking lunches for those kids was how to make polenta. Sure, I’d made polenta in school before but I never liked it. I thought it was bland and I was never really a fan of the hard stuff either. My teacher, Evelyn, couldn’t believe when I told her I didn’t like polenta. She told me I’d never had it good then. She then showed me how she made hers. She made creamy polenta, spread it out on a sheet pan, let it cool, and then cut out shapes and fried them up in a hot saute pan. WOW, it was one of the best things I’d ever eaten! Shortly after that, I started cooking polenta at home. It’s now something I make seldom because the way I make it is not the healthiest food to eat but it’s definitely worth a splurge every once in a while.

Creamy Blue Cheese Polenta with Vegetables
Adapted from Cooking Light September 2011

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
8 oz assorted mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 t fresh)
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
S&P
3 cups milk
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup quick-cooking polenta
3/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled (or Gorgonzola)

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, mushrooms, and thyme. Saute for 4 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Saute for about 8 minutes or until veggies are tender.
2. In a medium pot (nonstick is nice) bring milk and water to a boil. Slowly stir in polenta little by little. While stirring in the polenta, add in pieces of the butter. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes until the polenta gets more and more thick. Once it’s at the consistency you prefer, turn off heat, and add in blue cheese. Serve polenta with vegetables on top.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

David October 5, 2011 at 4:19 pm

YUM! I love your polenta!!!! 🙂

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Nanny October 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm

I love polenta and this recipe looks so good, I’ll have to try it with the gorgonzola cheese.

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Half Baked October 6, 2011 at 12:54 am

I love polenta and this looks sooo good!!

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