spring vegetable polenta

styling by Catrine Kelty | photo by Keller + Keller

A hearty bowl of polenta acts as a great base for a medley of fresh spring vegetables. Serve in individual dishes or family-style on a large wooden platter in the center of your table.

4-5 cups low-sodium vegetable stock (or water, or a combination of both)
Kosher salt, to taste
1 cup polenta (yellow corn grits)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 leek, white and light green parts, trimmed and chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 bunch fresh asparagus (about 6 stalks), trimmed and cut into 1-inch rounds
1/2 cup fresh peas
Crumbled feta cheese, for serving

  1. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups stock and a pinch of salt to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and slowly stir in polenta, whisking as you go to prevent lumps. Continue to cook until mixture has thickened, about 15-20 minutes, whisking often to prevent lumps. Check polenta by rubbing a small amount of it between your fingers; if it’s not gritty, it’s done. If it’s too thick add a little more stock or water. Add butter and stir for another 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
  2. Place leeks in a sieve and rinse under cold water several times to remove dirt. Pat completely dry and set aside.
  3. In a large sauté pan, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add onion and leek and cook until softened, 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add asparagus and peas and cook until bright green, about 5 minutes.
  4. To serve, scoop a portion of polenta into a shallow bowl, and top with vegetables, followed by feta cheese. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.