Sunday, January 4, 2009

Pan-Grilled Polenta with Blood Orange Relish

Mike and I went to the Farmer's Market in Long Beach today and loaded up on stuff that's in season (which in CA is a lot, even in January). One of the interesting things about living in Southern California is that you can't always tell what season it is by the weather or foliage. The grass is currently quite green, and you can find just as many purple-blooming trees as gold-colored leaves. But, you can still celebrate the seasons by paying attention to what is available at the Farmer's Market at any given time.

One of our favorite winter treats is the fabulous blood orange - sorry, Nicole, I mean raspberry orange! (The sanguine name of this fruit can be a little off-putting, but don't miss out on the beet red, berry flavored citrus.) So, we bought a bunch of them and made this easy Pan-Grilled Polenta with Blood Orange Relish that I found at as an appetizer tonight. It was amazing!!

We did use pecans instead of pine nuts, since we had a bunch leftover from a salad we made last week. We just threw them in the pan to toast alongside the polenta we were grilling (or frying, really). We also added a little fresh mint to the relish, after a suggestion from one of the commenters on the original recipe. And, instead of following the recipe for the polenta, we took advantage of a Trader Joe's shortcut and simply cut thin slices off a tube of their ready-made polenta and put it in the pan to heat. If you're not familiar with polenta, it's like a more glamorous Italian version of good ol' grits. It is served in a more stiff form than some people's grits (which can be soupy), and more like my Mom's grits, which you could sculpt.

One last thing - I got lazy and didn't bother peeling the skin off each segment of the oranges, but it was still good. I was getting too hungry and impatient. Did I mention I'm hypoglycemic?

Another last thing - it seems some people recommend that hypoglcycemic people should not eat fruit. I don't buy that. The fruit sugar is tempered by the fiber, and I don't feel it making my blood sugar swing. Also, the polenta is made from corn, and counts as a whole grain. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. My dear darlin' baby girl...when you poured those grits on your 2 year old head, they looked to be just the right consistency! In other words, not sculptable (if that's a word).