My husband and I had a date yesterday afternoon to the art museum, and we lingered a little too long over the photographs () and paintings (). By the time we got home, everyone was starving, so I had to rush through this recipe for garlicy beans and spinach over polenta. I took some short cuts, just smashing a garlic clove instead of mincing it, stirring the polenta for just 15 minutes instead of 30, and using canned white beans instead of dried. I really loved this, and it was ready to go in less than half an hour.
First I got the polenta going, because it takes the longest. I measured 3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a saucepan and covered it to bring it to a boil quickly over high heat. Once it had come to a boil, I poured in 1 cup polenta (also called corn grits; this proportion made pretty thick polenta). I whisked as I poured, then switched to a wooden spoon to stir. The polenta bubbled over medium heat for 15 minutes partially covered; I stirred it about 4 or 5 times during that time, then stirred in a tablespoon butter and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
While I had the polenta bubbling, I turned to the topping. I heated some oil in a big skillet, then added 1 garlic clove that I had crushed gently so that it was broken but still in 1 piece. After the oil was heated, I added 1 bag prewashed baby spinach and a big pinch of salt. I stirred until it had cooked down, then added 1 can of rinsed, drained white beans (I used cannellini) and a handful of walnuts. Heated over medium to get everything warm, then turned the heat down to low until the polenta was finished. Served the bean mixture over the polenta with more Parmesan grated on top.
This just happens to be vegetarian, cheap and delicious. Check out a few more meatless meals below: