This is another meal inspired by accidentally buying way too much stuff (namely, spinach) at the farmers market. Polenta, of course, is a great way to beef up (no pun intended) a vegetable-heavy meal.
Polenta with Creamed Spinach and a Fried Egg
For the Polenta:
1 cup polenta, or coarsely ground cornmeal
1 cup of whole milk
Two tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup sharp white cheddar
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Creamed Spinach:
2 pounds fresh spinach, torn into medium pieces and any tough stems tossed
1/4 cup green onion, sliced
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 3/4 cups heavy cream or whole milk, or a mix thereof
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Fried Egg:
4-6 eggs, one per serving
Vegetable oil for frying
1) Make the polenta. Heat the milk with 2 cups water until it is almost boiling. Then, while constantly whisking add the polenta in a steady stream. Continue whisking until there are no lumps in the mixture and allow to come to a boil.
2) Turn the heat down low and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the polenta has reached the consistency of thick oatmeal. If it becomes too thick, whisk in a little water, a few tablespoons at a time.
3) Once it has become thick, whisk in the butter and cheese, thoroughly combined. Add salt and pepper. Pour polenta into a 9-inch round baking dish and allow to cool. (Alternatively, just leave it in the pan to cool).
4) Meanwhile, while your polenta is cooling, make the spinach. When you wash it, it’s fine to leave it a little wet. Place the spinach in a large pot, covered on high heat and cook for about 5 minutes, until just wilted (even less for baby spinach). Place the spinach in a mesh strainer and, using a spatula or large spoon, press out as much water as possible.
5) Heat milk and cream in a small saucepan until warm, and keep warm over low heat. In the same pot from the spinach, cook the green onion and garlic in the butter until softened, about 4 minutes. Then make your roux, whisking in flour until combined and thickened. Slowly add milk and cream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Stir in spinach and cook until warm. Salt and pepper to taste.
6) When the polenta is firm, cut it into 4-6 wedges. Spoon the creamed spinach mixture on top.
7) Then, after the polenta is assembled, fry your eggs in a well oiled pan. Be sure to use a good thick splash of oil. Add the eggs on top and eat immediately.