Sunday, September 2, 2007

Millet and Sweet Potato "Polenta"

Here's another treasure from The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen. This technically isn't polenta, I suppose, because it isn't made with any sort of corn or meal. However, the texture is very similar, and it fries just the same. I personally prefer the taste and texture of this polenta because it's much creamier and cooks with a yummy crisp on the griddle. The recipe in the cookbook called for serving it with sauteed onions and peppers, but I think anything you usually serve with polenta will go well (pasta sauces, mushroom sauces, cheese, moist vegetables, etc.). The only draw-back is that this version takes slightly more time, but it's well worth the effort!!

Millet and Sweet Potato Polenta

Millet and Sweet Potato "Polenta"
Serves 4

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup peeled and diced sweet potato
1 small onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (or more) sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cups water
1 cup millet, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh parsley for garnish

Warm the oil in a heavy 2 to 3 quart sauce pan or deep saute pan over medium heat. Add the sweet potato and onion and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to prevent browning. Add the garlic, thyme, and bay leaf and saute for 3 to 4 more minutes. Add the water, millet, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring several times to prevent sticking. Remove millet from heat when it is soft and creamy (at this point, you might try mashing some of the sweet potato into the millet to make it creamier). Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Set the millet aside to rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Lightly oil an 8-inch square baking dish and pour the polenta into the dish. Set aside to cool at room temperature and then refrigerate, uncovered, about 40 minutes or overnight. Slice polenta into 1/2 inch slices. Heat griddle over medium hight heat with olive oil and fry polenta until crispy on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Serve polenta topped with veggies or sauces.

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