Fresh Corn Polenta with Fire-Roasted Red Pepper Puree

corn polentaThis is an eye-popping dish, the bright yellow polenta served in a pool of red. To turn it into a main course, top with grilled veggie, grilled fish or buffalo mozzarella sliced and finished with ribboned basil. For a dairy-free version of the polenta, use three tablespoons olive oil and omit the butter. The recipe is adapted from Jacques Pepin. We demoed it at U.S. Botanic Garden August 15, 2014. Read More

Fig & Orange Muffins (GF)

Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman, The New York Times

1 C dried black mission figs, chopped
1 C orange juice
1 C cornmeal or polenta (fine-ground cornmeal)
1 C Bob’s all-purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour
¾ t xantham gum
¾ t sea salt
1 T baking powder
½ t baking soda
2 eggs
1¼ C buttermilk
¼ C honey
¼ C canola or safflower oil

Put the chopped figs in a bowl and pour in the orange juice; let steep for at least an hour, or overnight. Drain ¼ cup of the orange juice (this will probably be all that is left if you let the figs sit overnight), and add it to the buttermilk.

Preheat the oven to 350̊F. Butter a 12-cup muffin tin.

Sift together all the dry ingredients into a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs with the buttermilk, orange juice, honey and oil. Working quickly, add the wet ingredients into the dry and then fold in the chopped figs. Don’t over mix, but be sure there isn’t any flour left in the bottom of the bowl. Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, fill muffin cups to the top. Bake 18-20 minutes, until lightly brown and well risen. Allow the muffins to cool before removing them from the tin. Makes 12 muffins. Store in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator, 2-3 days.  Muffins are best reheated in a toaster oven.