Monday, August 9, 2010

My First Ever Magazine/Cookbook Monday.

I have a confession, I hoard magazines and cookbooks. If you open up my coat closet you will not find coats... you will find a big pile of cookbooks and a huge binder filled with recipes I have cut/torn out of magazines. However, I realized the other day that most of the recipes I have tried are ones that I have found online. This realization lead to me deciding that every Monday (or Sunday evening), I will pull out one of those cookbooks or magazine snippets and try out one of the recipes. If it is good, I will keep it, if not throw it out! I have resolved not to let myself buy any more cookbooks until I have made at least 10 recipes using the ones I have. This is gonna be hard... (I know, I'm a whiner).... So to start this off I turned to a recipe from the June 2006 Gourmet Magazine (my library was giving all their back issues away for free about a month ago and of course I couldn't resist hauling ALL of them to my car). The original recipe was for a Polenta and Cheese Pie, but I thought I would try it made in individual ramekins kind of mini pies. I love the fresh summer vegetables and basil mixed with tomato sauce and the creamy polenta slices covered with cheese. This is a vegetarian dish but if you are a meat lover definitely add in some ground beef or turkey. You could also substitute whatever vegetables you have on hand which makes the recipe even more versatile. Hope you enjoy, and feel free to join in with me on these magazine/cookbook Mondays by adding a link or leaving a comment! I would love the company!

Individual Polenta Pies with Cheese and Tomato

Recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine June, 2006


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 (16- to 18-oz) ready-made plain polenta roll (plastic-wrapped)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 (25- to 26-oz) jar chunky tomato sauce

2 small/medium summer squash (chopped

4 medium sized white mushrooms (chopped)

1/4 lb mozzarella, coarsely shredded (1 cup)

2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 small tomato

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.

Briefly saute squash, basil, and mushrooms with olive oil and a sprinkle of garlic salt (saute until no longer crunchy, but not completely soft). Using a bit of the olive oil, oil five or six small ramekins (depends on how many layers you want to do).

Cut polenta roll crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place one in the bottom of each ramekin.

Cover polenta slice with sauce.

Sprinkle on some cheese. Add another slice of polenta, cover with sauce, sprinkle with cheese.

Finally add one more thin slice of polenta and cover that one with fresh tomato slices and more mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of the Parmesan.

Place ramekins on a tray in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and golden. While pies bake, heat remaining pasta sauce, basil, and oil in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Let pies stand 5 minutes to firm up and cool, then serve with extra sauce on the side.


  1. Oh no, you didn't tell us what you thought of it. Of course it looks yummy and the pictures are gorgeous, but yes or no! I am just like you. I should set a goal to at least make one thing out of each cookbook and each magazine. At one time I counted 200 cookbooks (including the little grocery store checkout types) and I have a lot to do. Better get cooking, but now I have tons I have printed off blog sites too....

  2. I agree with Jacqueline - what did you think??? I am not a huge fan of polenta, I can never get it to taste right. I get two cooking magazines (Cooking Light and Vegetarian Times) and love both of them (although not all CL recipes turn out good). I also hoard cookbooks. But I actually use the recipes all the time - out of the books and the magazines. I almost never look online for recipes because I never know if they are good or not. Can't wait to see what recipes you come up with!

  3. I did forget to give a review! It was good! the polenta made it hearty and filling without being too heavy. I think next time I make it I will add in some sauteed eggplant, kind of a healthy version of eggplant parm (minus the breading). I just got a subscription to cooking light so I'm excited about that! I use alot of the recipe's from their website (the banana bread I posted a while ago was from them.... its GREAT!) so hopefully I will get lots of good recipe ideas from the mag!

  4. i am the same way - i have tons of cookbooks but i mostly pick my recipes online! I've got to start using the ones from the books/magazines!

    Btw, i got the ingredients & am trying your turkey/mozzerella slider burger thingies tonight! :)

  5. Wow... super great recipe. I'm your newest follower.

  6. Thanks Moogie :) Hope you enjoy it!

  7. It sure looks delicious.If you won't mind I'd love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!

  8. I love this idea! I have a ton of saved recipes from magazines. Only two cookbooks, but there are a TON of them on my Amazon Wishlist....someday.