Polenta Arrosto al Forno con Supplementi Assortiti
Oven Roasted Polenta with Assorted Extras (Leftovers!)
Well of course there was polenta left-over from the other night! And no, of course I did NOT throw it away... as usual, I re-loaded it with a few other left-over ingredients and turned it into tonight's supper- reality bites! The reality is, that I try not to ever throw food away- it is such a crime and so unnecessary and I think these pictures demonstrate pretty well just how appetizing a such meal can be!
Of course, the ingredients can and will vary, but the method I would use would remain the same. I had a handful of ground pork that I had bought, intending on using it to make something else, but I decided to sacrifice it in order to make use of the polenta. I simply tore the meat into little bits and spread it out on an oven tray. I then added the polenta, cut into cubes, some celery cut into chunks and carrot which I cut into rather thinner strips. Into the oven they went at a moderate heat- just as they were, with nothing added...
...and 5 minutes later, I took the tray out again and moved everything around a little. By this time, the meat had begun to give off some juices and fat and I made sure that everything got coated before returning it to the oven. 5 minutes later, it came out again and I seasoned everything with salt, pepper, fennel seed and some Herbs de Provence. Back into the oven it went with a couple of cloves of garlic that I crushed first, in order to infuse everything gently with flavor.
Of course, you have all noticed, that when I made this, I forgot one important ingredient- and that was of course onion... so next time I would recommend adding some wedges of onion into the mix... not that it didn't already taste delicious like this!
I only added the tomatoes and olives at the end, as I didn't want them to overcook and also not to discolor the other ingredients. The time of course will vary, but it is a simple matter of constantly flipping the ingredients so that they bake and brown evenly and so that they soak up all of their own juices. At the end of the cooking time, I added some leaves of parsley and little squeeze of lemon juice... just add a glass or 2 of wine and dinner can be served!