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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Adjust seasoning and garnish with whole parsley leaves.
- Bon appétit!