Grilled Polenta Recipe With Spring Beans

Grilled Polenta Recipe With Spring Beans

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Polenta is the perfect choice when you want to venture outside of your go-to pasta and vegetable dinner. Take a page from “Great Chefs Cook Vegan” for a spring dish that’s simply delish.Grilled Polenta5 1⁄2 cups water1 tablespoon salt1 cup medium-grain polenta2 tablespoons olive oil, plus moreFresh Shell Bean Ragout8 tablespoons olive oil, divided1⁄4 cup finely diced onion2 teaspoons minced garlic2 teaspoons thyme leaves3 cups fresh shell beans (at least 2 types such as flagolets, black beans, black-eyed peas, limas, or cranberry beans)Kosher salt to taste1⁄2 pound haricots verts or thin string beans2 tablespoons finely diced shallot2 tablespoons sliced opal basil2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsleyMORE FROM BETTY: Popcorn Is Good For YouCherry Tomato-Olive SauceOlive oil1 cup halved cherry tomatoesKosher salt and pepper to taste2 tablespoons diced shallot3 tablespoons sliced black olives1⁄2 lemon, for juicing1 tablespoon parsley2 tablespoons sliced basil, both green and purple (if possible)To make the Grilled Polenta:In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil over high heat. Add polenta slowly, whisking continuously. Turn heat down to low and continue cooking for another 20 minutes, whisking often. Add another 1/2 cup water as needed, about every 20 minutes to keep smooth and moist. The heat should be low so that the polenta is barely simmering. As you whisk, make sure you reach the bottom of the pan to prevent the polenta from scorching. For the purposes of grilling, the polenta should be a little thicker than it would be if you were serving it soft.Whisk in 2 tablespoons oil and taste for seasoning. Pour the polenta onto a lightly oiled baking sheet-it should be about 3/4 inch thick. Chill overnight and then cut polenta into triangles.Light the grill 30 to 40 minutes before cooking. When the coals are broken down, red, and glowing, brush both sides of the polenta with oil and grill the triangles for 5 to 6 minutes, until you have nice marks. Turn the polenta over and cook until you have nice color on the second side and the polenta is very hot.MORE FROM BETTY: Retro Cocktail RecipesTo make the Fresh Shell Bean Ragout:For each type of bean, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Swirl 2 tablespoons oil into each pan and divide onion, garlic, and thyme between them. Sauté over medium heat about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the shell beans (again, cooking each variety separately), and cook for a few minutes, stirring to coat them in the oil. Add salt and water to cover 2 inches. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until the beans are just tender. (Cooking time will vary depending on the types of beans used. Taste to see if they are done.) Remove from the heat and then cool the beans in the cooking liquid.While the beans are cooking, blanch haricots verts in a large pot of salted boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes until tender but still al dente. Transfer the haricots verts onto a baking sheet to cool.Drain the shell beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat for 1 minute. Swirl in remaining oil, add haricots verts, and shallot to the pan. Add the shell beans, and stir gently, being careful not to crush the beans. Add about 1/2 cup shell bean cooking liquid to the pan to moisten the ragout. Taste for seasoning and cook a few minutes until beans are hot. Add opal basil and parsley right before serving.To make the Cherry Tomato-Olive Sauce:Heat oil in a medium sauté pan over medium high heat for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Let the tomatoes pop and sizzle in the pan. Add shallot and black olives; toss to combine. Season to taste with lemon juice, and add parsley and basil at the last minute.How to Plate: Arrange the Fresh Shell Bean Ragout on the bottom of a shallow bowl or plate. Top with the Grilled Polenta and spoon Cherry Tomato-Olive Sauce over and around the beans and the polenta. Finish with a few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley.Serves 4.MORE FROM BETTY: Build a Chic Spring WardrobeFrom Great Chefs TM Cook Vegan by Linda Long. Reprinted with permission of Gibbs Smith, gibbs-smith.com

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