Serves 6 as dessert or 3 as breakfast
Three cups hot polenta (about half the recipe on page 193) poured into a 13-by-9-inch baking pan, when chilled, can be portioned in twelve slices, with some scraps for the cook to nibble on. An assortment of berries is good for the warmer months; some maple sugar and poached fruits are perfect for winter. When I was a young girl, polenta was often eaten with sugar or honey as dessert, and this remains one of my favorite ways to eat it even now.
- 1 cup strawberries, stemmed and halved, or quartered if large
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup blackberries or raspberries
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons dark rum, cognac, or brandy
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 12 slices chilled cooked polenta, about 3 by 2 by ½ inch each
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- 6 fresh sprigs mint, for garnish
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the berries, honey, and rum, and toss well. Let them stand, tossing once or twice, while preparing the polenta.
In a large heavy nonstick skillet, melt half the butter over medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add half the polenta slices in a single layer. Sauté the polenta, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the polenta to a baking sheet, and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining butter and polenta.
Divide the polenta among serving plates. Spoon some of the berries and their syrup over each serving, and sprinkle with the confectioners’ sugar. Decorate the plates with the mint sprigs, and serve.