Spinach Artichoke Polenta Fries with Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce
Yes, this is everything! Crunchy outside, but when you bite into the ‘fries’, your tastebuds are covered with a warm, creamy explosion of flavors. This isn’t a quickie recipe, but it’s fairly easy and well worth the little extra time and effort.
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus refrigerator time
Cook time: 25-30 minutes
Makes 18-24 fries, 1″ x 4″
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 2 c water or vegetable stock
- 1 Tbls. lemon juice
- 1 Tbls. dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
- 1 tsp.garlic puree, or powdered
- 4 Tbls. nooch
- 1 cup chopped canned or thawed artichokes
- 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
- 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
- Lightly spray oil a large shallow rectangular pan or casserole dish (13″ x 9″ x 2″). Alternatively, you can use a deeper loaf pan.
- Bring water or stock to low boil, and slowly begin to add cornmeal, a little at a time, whisking it continuously so it doesn’t clump. Mix in lemon juice, garlic, all the seasonings, 2 Tbls. nutritional yeast, and turn heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When it’s thick, almost paste-like, shut off heat. Add 1/4 cup more broth or water, and stir in chopped spinach and artichokes; mix well.
- Pour polenta in your pan and smooth it out as evenly as you can. The top should be smooth, too. This can be accomplished by laying a sheet of plastic on top and smoothing carefully with a food scraper or straight edged tool. Let cool for at least an hour, then pop in the fridge to harden for at least 3-4 hours, overnight is better.
- Score edges of polenta sheet or block with sharp knife. Then cut evenly shaped ‘fries’ about 1 inch thick by 4 inches long. If you cut them any thicker, your cook time should increase by 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a large baking sheet by covering it with parchment.On a large flat platter or dish, mix together panko bread crumbs, the remaining 2 Tbls. nutritional yeast and a few more sprinkles of your Italian seasonings.
- Remove the polenta ‘fries’ from pan and gently roll in the bread crumbs, covering all sides, and place fries on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 mins. Flip each over, and bake another 15 minutes until brown and crispy.
- You can speed up this process by putting them under your broiler for the last 3-4 minutes, and keep an eye on them!