Shrimp with Tomato & Feta Polenta

I was looking forward to doing something different (i.e. not making pasta or risotto dishes) and while I was going through Taste Spotting for inspiration, I thought of “polenta!!!” Still in the Italian cuisine but it’s different because I’ve only had two other polenta dishes featured on this blog.

Now, I knew I had to have shrimp (because that’s my number 1 choice of meat) and I just absolutely love spinach (ever since I was young, watching Popeye and all) and then I found a nice authentic recipe.

[100% organic & sustainable shrimp from Thailand]

  • 10 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 TBS olive oil, divided into 1 TBS
  • Half small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cups packed spinach leaves
  • 20 shrimp, shelled & deveined
  • 3 TBS white wine
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp parsley (I used cilantro because the market was out of fresh parsley)
  • ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Pour 2 cups of boiling water over the sun-dried tomatoes. Allow the tomatoes to steep for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid away and reserve. Dice the tomatoes.

Heat a saucepan to medium low. Add 1 TBS olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic, and sun-dried tomato for 1 minute. Add in the tomato paste and stir until it starts to brown on the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the tomato water, milk and another cup of water. Bring to a simmer. Whisk in the cornmeal and ½ tsp of salt, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon. Adjust the heat so it bubbles gently and continue cooking for 20 minutes.

Heat one pan to medium-high heat and a saucepan to high heat. Add 1 TBS olive oil to the saucepan, all the spinach, and a pinch of salt, stir to wilt. While you are wilting the spinach, add the last 1 TBS olive oil to your preheated pan. Sprinkle the shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the pan, cook for 90 seconds, tossing regularly. Add white wine and continue until shrimp are no longer pink. Squeeze the lemon on top and finish with the parsley. Remove spinach and shrimp from heat.

Stir feta into polenta, reserving a little bit for garnish. Pour a ladle full of polenta into each bowl. Nestle a portion of the spinach on top in the center and top with the hot shrimp, and a teeny bit of the feta. Sprinkle with some freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.

*Adapted from Daily Adventures in Cooking.

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