Creamy Pesto Polenta Recipe


In this recipe I brightened a creamy polenta dish with homemade pesto. The pesto is made with parsley, pine nuts and roasted garlic. To ensure fluffy polenta, I incorporated whipped cream. The result is spectacular, almost dessert-like.

This delicious side dish pairs wonderfully with beef steaks. I’ve also served it with a red cabbage coleslaw so the colors pop on the plate. You know the saying: you eat with your eyes first!

1. Info for Creamy Pesto Polenta Recipe

  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Servings: 6
  • Calories: 649kcal

2. Ingredients for Creamy Pesto Polenta Recipe

  • ¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2½ cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1½ cups flat-leaf parsley leaves, tightly packed
  • 1 lemon, zested and freshly squeezed
  • 1½ cups yellow corn meal (polenta)
  • 2 cups heavy cream, warm
  • 1 cup milk, warm
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly crumbled
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked

3. Directions:

  1. For the pesto: In a blender (or a mini-food prep if you have one), combine the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 clove garlic, pine nuts, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and 6 tablespoons olive oil. Pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. You might want to add about 2 tablespoons (or more) of vegetable broth for a smooth flow. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Making polenta: In a medium-sized saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add the remaining garlic and cook until slightly golden. Add the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then immediately whisk in the corn meal, stirring constantly for about 2-3 minutes. Add milk, then lower the heat. Let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking the liquid, periodically adding ½ to 1 cup of warm cream (1½ cups total) as soon as the liquid has been absorbed. Add the rest of the Parmesan cheese.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whip ½ cup cream (at low speed) for 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth. Add 2 tablespoons pesto. Increase to maximum speed and keep beating for another 2-3 minutes, until it forms soft peaks.
  3. Add a few tablespoons of pesto at a time to the warm polenta. When the polenta reaches the desired color, add half the green whipped cream into the polenta. Mix well using a silicone spatula. Pour in the rest of the whipped cream; gently fold the whipped cream until well combined.
  4. Adjust seasoning and garnish with whole parsley leaves.
  5. Bon appétit!

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