Vegan Tapas: Arugula Smothered Polenta
A friend called me a few weeks ago and said, “start typing ‘Cheeky Kitchen’ into the google search bar…then look at what comes up…”
One of the suggested search phrases was “Cheeky Kitchen divorce.” Who knew? I mean, this must be what it’s like to be Kim Kardashian. Without the killer booty and silky locks.
This phone call, coupled with a friend pointing out a forum thread on a site buried somewhere between here and India, full of speculations about what I’m doing now, made me think of a fun little game. It’s called, “Ask Cheeky Anything.”
I mean, after all, there have been a billion changes in my life over the last two years. There are questions about that. I get that. After all, some of you have been reading this here blog since it was called The Long Name Which Shall Not Be Named, when I was an awkward mom looking for a way to fill the quiet, kidless school hours in my afternoon. That’s not so much my life anymore, and I’d love to share with you any details you find remotely interesting. Because, my life is gorgeous and splendid and I feel so proud of it. And anyway, I took a Buddhist vow on candor some months ago, which has served me quite well in unabashedly speaking the truth whenever it is asked for.
So, let’s eat polenta squares and ask questions, shall we? Quit with the googling, and ask me your burning questions. Nothing is too personal. Ask away. I’ll nab as many questions as possible over the weekend and offer up answers next week. I mean…if you have questions….
Maybe, you’d rather hear about Kim Kardashian. In which case, we’ll eat lots of carbs and rub our ample arses, grateful to have a few extra curves…even if they are all in the wrong places.
Arugula Smothered Polenta
Yield: Serves 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
This recipe may not look like much, but it's one of my favorite tapas recipes. It's so simple to prepare, is wildly budget-friendly, and tastes like a dream come true if you, like me, dream in the flavors of arugula and garlic. Try prepping the polenta the evening before for even faster final toss-together times. If you love the idea, but don't feel like being vegan, drape a slice of prosciutto over the polenta, and toss some fresh-shaved parmesan in with the arugula for the meat-and-dairy lovers in your life.
1 package polenta
8 cups baby arugula
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare polenta according to package directions. Press cooked polenta into 11x7" baking dish which has been coated with nonstick baking spray. Refrigerate until firm, then cut into 3" triangles or 2" squares. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Preheat oven to broil. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the polenta triangles. Salt and pepper lightly. Place under broiler for 3-5 minutes, or until the edges are slightly browned. Remove from oven.
Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss with arugula.
Serve polenta topped with arugula. Enjoy!