Polenta (cornmeal boiled and whisked into a porridge) is a warming and hearty dish that can be made sweet or savory. This Pan-Fried Polenta with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Pecorino Romano Cheese and herbs is a great early fall dish to enjoy on these cool nights we’ve been having.

polenta with sundried tomatoes and pecorino romano cheese and herbsThis month’s Recipe ReDux theme is: Get Your Dehydrator On. Whether it’s extra garden bounty or a sale at the supermarket – dehydrating food is a budget-friendly way to stock up for later. You can use a food dehydrator, a low slow oven, or natural sunshine to preserve natural healthfulness. Show us how you like to dehydrate, or a healthy recipe for how you enjoy using dehydrated fruits, veggies or other bounty.

Since I have been snacking on sun-dried tomatoes like they’re going out of style and have not tried dehydrating anything besides sweet potatoes (for chips), sun-dried tomatoes are the star in this dish. And since fall has already arrived on the cape, and we’ve been craving warmer foods like chili, soups and polenta, I wanted to try the sun-dried tomatoes stirred into the polenta.  With cheese, naturally. And to make up for the fact that we didn’t have any fresh herbs on hand,  I tried this Litehouse Salad Blend in the polenta:

litehouse salad blendIt’s a nice blend of parsley, red onion, chives, shallots, garlic and dill and worked really well with the tomatoes and polenta. You just add water and these little herb clippings come back to life. They actually taste almost fresh, probably because they’re freeze dried. Great in a pinch.

We added the herbs to the water with the polenta as it was cooking to infuse the flavors.

cooking polenta

After the polenta is cooked on the stovetop and you add in the sun-dried tomatoes and cheese, you can eat it as is, out of a bowl. But we love it polenta pan-fried, so we rolled it into a tube (like below), refrigerated it to let it set, sliced it into rounds and fried it up.

Making polentaPairs perfectly with a side salad and a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.

polenta with sun-dried tomatoes and pecorino romano cheesePan-Fried Polenta with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Pecorino Romano Cheese and dried herbs

Time: 2 hours, including refridgeration time

Serves: 6 as a side dish

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 4 cups water
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp Litehouse Salad Herb Blend (parsley, red onion, chives, shallots, garlic, dill)
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese plus more for topping (you can also use Parmesan)
  • Vegetable oil or cooking spray
  • Balsamic vinegar for drizzling (optional)

Directions: Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Combine 4th cup of water, cornmeal, herbs, and salt together and pour slowly into the boiling water, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and stir 8-10 more minutes until the mixture is creamy and free of lumps. Remove from heat. Stir in sundried tomatoes and cheese. Let cool, slightly, but don’t let completely gel. Spread a long piece of plastic wrap on your working surface. Pour the polenta onto the plastic wrap into a long tube shape. With one hand on each end of the plastic wrap, roll the polenta into a tube and twist the ends. Or pour into a parchment paper lined loave pan. Refrigerate for at least an hour until polenta sets. Remove from fridge and unwrap from plastic wrap. Slice the polenta into rounds of about ½ inch thick. If polenta isn’t firm enough to cut, freeze for 10 minutes. Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add polenta slices in batches. Fry a few minutes on each side. Serve sprinkled with remaining cheese. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, if desired.

polenta with sun-dried tomatoes and pecorino cheese

Check out these Recipe ReDuxer sites for more dehydrated and dehydrator inspiration: 

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