Polenta is a northern Italian peasant food that has made its way onto the menus of many a high-end restaurant and now has found its way into my Sun OVen. It’s also one of the few foods that my husband does not like. Because of this, and due to the fact that its traditional preparation method calls for almost an hour of continuous stirring – o.k. mostly due to the continuous stirring – I hadn’t made it in years. This solar cooked version starts out on the stove, and does require a little stirring to start, but once it goes in the Sun Oven your work is done.
The cooked polenta can be cooled and will keep in the refrigerator for several days. It can be sliced and grilled and served as a side dish. It can be sliced and baked like lasagna with all kinds of fillings. It can even be cut into wedges and fried.
Sun Oven No Stir Polenta
(adapted from Marcella Hazan’s ‘No Stir Polenta’)
7 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1 2/3 cups polenta
Set Global Sun Oven out to preheat.
Bring the water to boil in a dark, light-weight, lidded pot. Add the salt. Add the polenta in a very thin stream, keeping the water boiling and stirring with a whisk the entire time. When you have put in all the polenta, stir with a long-handled wooden spoon for 2 minutes, cover the pot and place in Sun Oven. Cook until all the water has been absorbed, 1 1/2 to 2 hours..
If serving immediately: Spray a large metal bowl with cooking spray. Turn the cooked polenta out of the pot and into the bowl. Let it sit for 10 t0 15 minutes, turn the bowl over onto a large round platter. It goes well with any stewed, braised, or roasted meat.
If cooling for later use: Spray a 9-by 13-inch baking pan. Turn the cooked polenta out of the pot and into the pan. Let it cool at room temperature until set, then turn the pan over onto cutting board. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.