Yesterday I was in the mood to cook, but everything I wanted to make seemed to have ingredients that I did not have in the house, and going to the store in the middle of the day on the weekends is something I try desperately to avoid. (Way too crowded.) I decided to flip through the Flying Apron cookbook to get some ideas, and found a recipe that I hadn’t noticed before called, Polenta Cannellini Bean Torte with Caponata. Most of the ingredients were things I already had, including the cannellini beans which I hadn’t used up with the last soup I made. A lot of people say you should not change a recipe the first time you make it, but I find that impossible to abide by because of a. food allergies and b. working with what I already have. To me it makes much more sense to look at a recipe for general guidelines, then incorporate whatever ingredients you have/like in the actual execution of the recipe. For that reason, and the fact that I don’t feel at liberty to write out someone else’s recipe here, I’m going to give some the basic idea of this Polenta/bean concoction and hope others riff off of it as I did, because it was surprisingly good. My meat-eating, gluten-tolerant husband was pleasantly surprised with this vegan, gluten free dish, which is always my biggest test. Here’s the general idea: Saute beans with onions and any spices, herbs, veggies, etc, in a pan. Prepare the polenta, or if using the premade store-bought kind, open it up and divide into two. Preheat oven to 350. Press half of the polenta into an oiled oven-friendly container. (I used a loaf pan but anything with sides will do.) Add the bean mixture then top with the rest of the polenta. Sprinkle the top with a bit more oil, salt and pepper and any other herbs/spices you want. Cook for about 25 minutes, or until the polenta is set. I’m excited about experimenting with other kinds of beans and veggies and love that it uses polenta, which is something I rarely eat even though it is delicious, gluten free, and easy to make. Plus this combination can be made to taste Italian, Mexican, Spanish, etc depending on the beans, veggies, and flavorings used~love the versatility. Flying apron always comes through with *flying* colors.
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