On Sunday, Lilly and I had a study date at Bacchus, a super cute Greek-inspired wine bar and coffeeshop that towers its white-washed walls in an oddly tall structure amid the weeds and small shops lining Montrose.
If you look behind her head, you can kind of see what the inside looked like–the ceiling painted like the sky, pillared archways, bright tables and couches and paintings of Greek scenery on the walls. We clearly got a lot of studying done.
Because obviously, every time we’re together, we get a lot done.
The dish Lilly is holding out in the first collage contains some very small, very salty pickles called cornichon. They came in the Mediterranean sampler I got, which also had house-made hummus, marinated olives, dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) and really thin house-made pita chips. Lilly got the Grecian sandwich (roast beef, feta, veggies and tzatziki in a pita) and an almond croissant. She would not stop raving about the sandwich.
I really wanted to like the sampler, but I just wasn’t really crazy about any of it–even the dolmades, which rank high on my list of all-star foods. Basically, I was disappointed after the standards set by 13 Celsius a few weeks ago (apparently wine bars are the place to be on Sunday afternoons…).
Remember that polenta gorgonzola plate I posted about? I’m going to teach you how to make it.
Impress all your friends with this!
Except…unless you have a panini maker, it’s going to to look more like this:
It’ll still taste great.
How could it not, with the runniness of the egg that slides all over the pile of balsamic and honey-slicked greens that are studded with sweet bursts of grapes, tangy crumbs of gorgonzola, and creamy-grainy lumps of polenta?
So it’s yum, but also super easy to make and even the homemade version is fairly gourmet-looking, in my humble opinion. I skipped the asparagus spears that came with the original plate because I didn’t want to buy a whole bunch and only use four spears for this recipe, but feel free to top recipe with two grilled spears.
If you like polenta or are lazy and want to buy it premade, you can buy premade tubes at Whole Foods and many other grocery stores. A slightly cheaper way and honestly not much harder way to go is to make polenta from scratch, aka cornmeal and water.
So go buy some cornmeal, gorgonzola and grapes and make this RIGHT NOW!
Note: I wrote down measurements for the sake of pretending to measure things, but really, use whatever you want. If you want half a cup of salad greens and an extra handful of grapes, do it! Or no cheese and double the polenta, do it! These are just the basic ratios that I used when making my own salad.
Polenta Gorgonzola Plate
Inspired by 13 Celsius.
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 cup water
3 cups mixed greens
3/4 cup red grapes
2-4 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese crumbles
For the dressing:
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2-4 teaspoons honey (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
1) Make the polenta: Bring 1 cup of salted water to boil. Add cornmeal to boiling water and stir until all water is absorbed into cornmeal–break up any lumps (be quick! Lumps may form very quickly unless you stir fast) with a wooden spoon. Pour cornmeal mixture onto a greased or parchment-paper lined cookie sheet. Spread into a half-inch thick layer and let cool.
2) While polenta is cooling, wash grapes and cut in half. Set a frying pan to medium heat. When polenta is cool enough to handle, use the top of a small glass like a cookie cutter to cut six rounds (or so) out of the cornmeal layer. Swirl a bit of oil in the frying pan and grill polenta rounds on both sides until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. (Alternatively, if you have a panini maker, now would be a great time to bust it out.)
4) Make the dressing: While polenta is frying, whisk together the oil, balsamic and honey. Season with salt and peper to taste.
3) Fry eggs sunny side up: When polenta is done, Heat frying pan over medium heat. Add a dab of butter or olive oil when pan is hot and crack both eggs into the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat down to low until egg white is set and the yolk is still runny.
4) Assemble plates: Divide spring mix between two plates and drizzle with balsamic dressing. Top with polenta rounds, grapes, gorgonzola cheese. Plop an egg on top and EAT!