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Archive for January 28th, 2008

italian-sausage-polenta1.jpg

Store-bought tube polenta is a wonderful cornmeal creation that serves as a vessel for whatever it is made with. It also tastes very good just sliced and sauted with a little olive oil and mildly seasoned with salt and pepper. This dish has a nice bite from the tapenade spooned on top, which offsets the neutral taste of polenta. It sits on a bed of steamed spinach, and depending how many rounds of polenta you place on your plate, it can be quite South Beach-friendly. Enjoy!

Tapenade-topped sausage and polenta rounds on wilted spinach

2 packages of tube polenta, sliced into 1/2″ thick rounds

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 pound of spicy or sweet Italian chicken sausage, sliced into 1/4″-1/2″ rounds

1 can stewed tomatoes

Two 12 ounce bags of baby spinach

soy mozzarella cheese slices (optional)

tapenade topping (recipe to follow)

Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan, and saute the polenta rounds until lightly browned on each side. Set aside.

Saute the sausage rounds until nicely browned on both sides. Add the stewed tomatoes and cook over medium heat for another 10 minutes.

Place the spinach in a microwave safe bowl, covered, and zap it for 2 1/2 minutes until just wilted.

Place a mound of spinach on each plate. Top with 3 or 4 polenta rounds, your choice. Lay the optional soy mozzarella cheese on top of the polenta, and then spoon the sausage/tomato mixture over it. Top with a generous 1 – 2 tablespoons of tapenade. Serves 4.

Tapenade

1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and patted dry

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon thyme

1 cove garlic

ground pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients into a small bowl food processor and process for 5-10 seconds until blended. Store in fridge in covered container.

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