When it comes to entertaining, we have our go-to recipes like this Broiled Polenta Bites with Green Harissa recipe. It’s a gluten-free twist on crostini, and the green harissa is nothing short of crave-worthy!
Broiled Polenta Bites with Green Harissa Recipe
- 4 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water divided
- 1 cup stoneground polenta (not instant)
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium jalapeño chile
- 1 1/2 cups packed baby spinach or baby chard
- 3/4 cup (about 1 ounce) packed fresh Italian parsley leaves and stems
- 1/2 cup toasted walnut halves
- 1 medium garlic clove smashed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- Make The Polenta: In a heavy saucepan, bring 4 cups of broth or water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon salt and reduce the heat to medium. Add the polenta gradually, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk for 5 minutes as the mixture bubbles.Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to come away from the sides of the pan, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Spread and Cool The Polenta: Invert a rimmed baking sheet on a countertop and cover the surface with parchment paper. Spread the polenta out with a spatula into a smooth, even layer. Cover the polenta with another sheet of parchment paper. Place another baking sheet, right side up, on top of the parchment.With 2 hands, press down evenly on the top baking sheet until the polenta is 1/4 inch thick. The idea is to sandwich the polenta between 2 flat surfaces. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. Meanwhile, make the harissa.
- Start The Green Harissa: Turn a gas burner on medium heat and char the jalapeño, turning frequently, until blackened and slightly collapsed. Transfer the jalapeños to a cutting board to cool slightly. Once cool enough, trim off the stems from the jalapeños and remove the seeds and ribs.
- Blend The Harissa: Combine the jalapeños with all the spinach, parsley, remaining 1/2 cup of the broth, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a food processor or blender and blend, scraping down the sides as needed, until smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir to help loosen the sauce.
- Cut The Polenta Into Triangles: When the polenta is cool, heat the oven to 375°F. Invert the baking sheets together. Remove the top baking sheet and the top layer of parchment paper. The smoother side of the polenta will be facing up. Cut the polenta into triangles about 2 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide.Transfer the triangles to 1 or more baking sheets, spacing them 1/2-inch apart. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of the remaining Parmesan cheese on top of triangles.
- Bake the crostini until hot throughout and starting to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and broil the crostini about 8 inches from the heat source until crispy and golden brown on top, about 3 minutes. Serve each polenta triangle with a dollop of the green harissa, a crumble of feta, and a drizzle of olive oil.