Prepared polenta that comes in a tube provides an easy way to add variety to the dinner repertoire. In a simple combination, polenta topped with black beans and spinach can be a hearty warm appetizer or the main dish as part of a simple dinner. Look for this kind of polenta in natural foods stores or the Italian or gluten-free foods sections of supermarkets. Adapted from Vegan Express by Nava Atlas. See a complete simple dinner, with shopping list, featuring this recipe.
Serves: 3 to 4 as an entrée; more as an appetizer.
- 18-ounce tube polenta
- Olive oil for the pan, plus 1 tablespoon
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 roasted red bell pepper (from a jar), drained and cut into short strips
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
- 5 to 6 ounces fresh baby spinach
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cut a little off the puckered ends of the polenta after removing it from the casing, then cut into 12 slices, each about 1/2 inch thick.
Heat a wide nonstick skillet or griddle that’s been lightly coated with olive oil. Arrange the polenta slices in a single layer. Cook both sides over medium-high heat until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes per side.
Add the beans, roasted pepper, and cumin. Stir together and cook over medium heat until well heated through.
Add the spinach, cover, and cook just until it wilts, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir the mixture together, season with pepper, and remove from the heat.
Photos: Hannah Kaminsky