Polenta Squares with Blueberry and Corn Relish

in Appetizers

I read cookbooks like normal books. Like a novel with a cup of tea. I pay special attention to the dedication and awknowledgements, mainly because I’m naturally a very nosy person. I love reading the way certain authors write their recipes. I love reading all about the supplies and tips I’m supposed to keep in mind. And I love reading about a recipe’s story in the head notes. If you’re here, you’re probably super weird like me too and get great enjoyment in reading this stuff.

So needless to say, when I received the new cookbook from Sprouted Kitchen, I was pretty pumped to read the thing from front to cover. The book is a direct extension of their blog – beautiful pictures with delicious and healthy recipes.

As I thumbed through each chapter I stopped at “Happy Hour.” My favorite type of chapter. This one jumped out at me–it’s perfect for late-summer when it’s almost too hot to eat. Baked polenta squares, which are cooled, topped with blueberry and fresh corn relish. Yes. Just yes.

This recipe starts with whipping up some polenta. There’s some water, milk, Parmesan, Mexican oregano and salt and pepper. Easy enough.

The polenta goes to a square dish and in the oven.

While that’s baking, relish time!

Fresh corn is cut off the cob, which by the way, is ridiculously messy. WHY?

Blueberries are sliced in half. Jalapeño is minced. And cilantro and vinegar and olive oil added and everything is tossed together.

When the polenta is done baking it’ll get a beautiful golden crust all along the edges. Let it cool slightly and then slice it up into squares. Top with a spoonful of the relish and serve.

The polenta squares have good flavor. That oregano addition is a must, truly. The relish is fresh tasting, sweet, salty and a little bit spicy. Everything you want in a summer appetizer that’s totally fuss free.

Polenta Squares with Blueberry and Corn Relish

Print this recipe!

3/4 cup whole milk
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup water
3/4 cup polenta
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 ears of corn
1 1/4 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded and diced

1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Lightly oil an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish.

2. In a saucepan, combine the milk, garlic, and water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the polenta and dried oregano, turn the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the polenta is thick and has lost its grittiness, about 10 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper and stir in the Parmesan. Pour the polenta into the prepared baking dish and bake until the top is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from both corn cobs and put the kernels in a mixing bowl. Cut half of the blueberries in half, leaving the rest intact. Add the blueberries to the corn along with the fresh oregano, rice vinegar, olive oil, jalapeño, and a pinch of two of salt and stir to combine.

4. Cut the cooled polenta into nine squares and serve with the corn mixture on the side, or top each square with a heaping spoonful of corn mixture and serve.

Serves 6

Recipe from The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Margherita August 30, 2012 at 11:29 pm

I’ve noticed this recipe as well in The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook, looked amazing there and even more amazing here.
Polenta is such a great food, I want to make much more use of it in my kitchen this fall!

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Alex August 31, 2012 at 1:53 am

And the photos are amazing, too.

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar August 31, 2012 at 3:58 am

So unique! Love this!

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Megan August 31, 2012 at 5:05 am

I’m terrible with reading cookbooks. I always just end up looking for recipes online and forget that I have actual cookbooks in my house! I do really want to get Rachel Khoo’s book, though. Have you heard of her? She just recently hit it big here in England. She is sooooo cool, you must check her out. I think I will sit down and read her book like you described. And of course, when your book comes out I’ll be doing the same! :-)

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Amy August 31, 2012 at 7:00 am

oh, my, yes.

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Connie August 31, 2012 at 8:09 am

My bedside table is filled with cookbooks… my poor Kindle doesn’t stand a chance most evenings. I think a lot of people don’t realize that there are so many great stories, tips, and pieces of useful information between the recipes (although I read all of those too). I can’t wait to get The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook and devour all its pages. These polenta squares look so good. Yes. Yes. Yes they do!

PS: I recently read The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila from cover to cover. If you haven’t read it yet, I totally recommend it. Her stories about each of the recipes are so heartfelt and wonderfully written.

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Andrea August 31, 2012 at 8:52 am

Haha!! It’s true, I’m a total weirdo with reading cookbooks like novels too… something I’ve only started doing in the last few years. I want to buy that cookbook! I’ve been hearing about it all over the blogosphere!

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Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking August 31, 2012 at 9:52 am

I love to creep on the dedications too! Glad I’m not the only one! Could this recipe be any easier? Yes, I guess I just channeled Chandler Bing.

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Katie @ Blonde Ambition August 31, 2012 at 10:49 am

Sounds delish. I love using cornmeal AND corn in the same recipe, plus the relish sounds so perfect for summer!

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Kasey August 31, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Beautiful! I’ve totally been eyeing this one, too.

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sara August 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm

love love your photos. thanks so much for sharing this and I’m glad you like it! Hoping our happy hour paths cross sometime!

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Lisa @ The Cooking Bride August 31, 2012 at 7:18 pm

I just LOVE polenta. And I also read cookbooks like novels.

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Margarita September 1, 2012 at 10:53 am

Uh yeah, I guess I’m nosy too! Lol! I dig acknowledgements, author interviews, and such in all books I get my little hands on. This is a very fresh take on polenta. Love it!

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suzanne Perazzini September 2, 2012 at 2:49 am

I love using polenta as the base for appetizers. Cut into circles they look great too.

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Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen September 2, 2012 at 9:53 am

I, too, love reading cookbooks.. this one must be wonderful, judging from the recipe you’ve made here! What lovely fresh ingredients for a fall day!!

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Tiffany September 2, 2012 at 10:41 pm

wow these look amazing!

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startcooking September 3, 2012 at 12:49 pm

The Polenta looks yummy!!!!!
I now only like cookbooks that include a photo of the recipe – “a picture is worth a thousand words…”
Cheers,
Kathy

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Christina @ The Beautiful Balance September 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I absolutely LOVE the idea of using blueberries as a contrasting flavor. Thanks for sharing, I will definitely be trying this soon. It is too easy to pass up!

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Nicole September 6, 2012 at 11:37 am

Interesting! I never would have though about the blueberries! Though, I just had a blueberry/basil/habanero salsa the other day on a breakfast taco and about died. Blueberries are IT!

making this soon.
xo
Nicole
http://www.hourglassandbloom.wordpress.com

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Wintermaenteln December 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm

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