Ever notice how you go through phases with certain dishes — practically living off of them for months and then one day you just stop? A while back, polenta featured big in the weekly meal routine at our house. It was easy, cheap and good, especially with a bit of shredded cheese stirred into the pot.
But time flies and tastes change, and I recently realized that it had been years since I last made polenta for a simple weeknight meal. This one-bowl dish is a reminder of how good warm polenta and a handful of fresh ingredients can truly be.
My unintended polenta hiatus might have stretched even longer if I hadn’t spotted a recipe in Sarah Copeland’s book “Feast” for an easy supper of polenta topped with sautéed winter greens, a poached egg and blue cheese. It produced such an instant craving that I made it that very night, hitting three different grocery stores in pursuit of radicchio. (Worth it.)
The recipe that follows is an easy mix of things that I almost always have in my refrigerator: chicken sausage, a bag of baby spinach and cherry tomatoes.
Sliced into thick coins and seared golden, the chicken sausage makes a chewy counterpart to both the creamy polenta and the silky strands of garlic-scented spinach. The cherry tomatoes add a pop of flavor and color, while a poached egg laid over each bowl brings it all together. I used a spicy andouille-style sausage for my recipe, but you could really use whichever kind you happen to have.
The beautiful part of this meal is that comes together in 30 minutes. Get the polenta on the stove first, then work on the spinach and sausage topping. Put the eggs in the water to poach just before you’re ready to eat, and assemble the bowls as they’re cooking. The whole meal is on the table in no time.