An Easy Supper

Tired from a day of teaching (me) and quilting (Barbara), we decided to do something quick and relatively easy for supper last night.  Naturally, Italy was the inspiration, complemented by the remaining bounty of summer vegetables.  Total time = 30 minutes.

First course was leftover savory carrot soup which Barbara made the previous evening.  This version was tingly-spicy from a bit of extra Costa Rican black peppercorns, and it was less fruity without the apples and nuts she normally adds to the blender — and thus, much more to my liking.

The main dish was simple, a bowl of polenta, with added kernels of sweet corn off the cob, topped with juicy diced heirloom tomato and sautéed baby artichokes:

Preparation was straightforward:

  • Boil 750 ml. of water, with a few pinches of kosher salt and 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Slowly add 250 g. of medium polenta (see photo below, preferably from Italy)
  • Turn heat to medium low, and stir regularly with a large whisk
  • After 10 minutes, add a cup or two of corn kernels, and continue stirring
  • Remove from the heat after 25-30 minutes, when polenta is thick and smooth
  • Separately, take 4 baby artichokes, break off tough outer leaves, and cut off the top half of each.  Cut each one in half vertically.  Saute the eight pieces in olive oil and salt added, until browned on each side.  Lower the heat and add about 1/3 cup of white wine or water.  Cover and braise until tender.
  • Slice a large heirloom tomato, then dice into 3/4-inch chunks.  Drizzle a little olive oil, salt and pepper on tomatoes in a bowl.
  • Place polenta in a pasta bowl.  Top with tomato and artichoke pieces.  Mangia!
  • Serve with a full-bodied Italian white wine, such as the Li Veli Verdeca shown below.

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