The other day a package arrived on our doorstep from Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery. There was no indication of who had sent it, and when I looked for a phone number on the company’s website in the hope that I could call and find out whom to thank, there was none. So I posted a picture of the contents of the package online and asked the sender to ‘fess up so I could express my thanks.
The sender obliged. (Nice, because I can’t stand being unable to thank someone for a gift. I would out him here but don’t want to cause any awkwardness.)
Mark and I love goat cheese — on toast, on crackers, in salad. But I decided to use some of it to make my best stab at my favorite dish at Bloomington’s Uptown Cafe, baked polenta with goat cheese. I’m cooking with what we have on hand, so my guess at the ingredients reflects that.
Baked Polenta with Goat Cheese
1 cup polenta
1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
1 12-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 medium red onion: chop most of it and slice about 1/7 for topping
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. basil
1-1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. red wine
2 Tbsp. capers
black olives, chopped
grated or shredded Parmesan
sliced red onion
Cook polenta in water with a dash of salt, stirring with a whisk, until thick but not dry. Pour into a buttered glass backing dish and spread into a flat layer.
Crumble the goat cheese over the polenta and spread evenly.
Sauté sliced onion in olive oil until transparent, then add garlic and sauté a little longer. Add pepper and basil. Stir well. Add tomato sauce and can of tomatoes, then wine, vinegar, capers, and olives. Cook until the sauce has thickened a bit. Pour over the polenta and goat cheese.
Top with grated Parmesan, then sliced onion.
Bake at 350 degrees until the onions are beginning to brown. Allow to sit before serving.
After a tiny taste I can say it’s quite different from the Uptown’s version — for one thing, theirs has a lot more goat cheese, but this being special goat cheese, I didn’t want to use too much in this dish. Nonetheless, it’s really good!