Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Crisp Polenta Rounds with Fresh Figs, Raspberries, and Maple Syrup

This recipe makes an elegant little dessert!

To start, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat; add 1/4 cup finely chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add 1 cup dry polenta, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt; continue to stir with a whisk for about 2 minutes, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 25 minutes. The liquid should all be absorbed by the end, and I actually briefly increased the heat back to medium when it looked like the polenta wasn't absorbing water quite fast enough.

Transfer the polenta to an 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, then refrigerate - uncovered - for 30 minutes to cool.

Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut 8 rounds from the polenta, and place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. The original recipe said to discard the leftovers, but I found that to be an extravagant waste - nearly 2/3 of the polenta remained! Since polenta can easily be savory as well as sweet, I recommend saving the leftovers for dinner tomorrow night, perhaps in a commercial pasta sauce for a quick meal.

Meanwhile, bake the 8 polenta rounds at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, turning over half-way through - they will be beautifully crisp by the end. Cool completely on a wire rack.

When it comes time to assemble dessert, place 2 polenta rounds on each of 4 plates. Slice 6 fresh figs each in half. Arrange 3 fig halves and 5 raspberries over each dessert plate, and drizzle each serving with 2 tablespoons maple syrup.

Finally, combine 2 tablespoons vegan sour cream (such as Tofutti) with 2 tablespoons plain soy yogurt (such as Silk); top each serving with 1 tablespoon of the 'sour cream' mixture. Each dessert is 380 calories - garnish with some fresh rosemary sprigs for a pretty presentation, if you like!

raspberries $3.99
fresh figs $3.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance