Some of my favorite foods are meals I have improvised when I haven’t felt like eating whatever I meal prepped, leaving me to mix together leftovers in a haphazard fashion. There was one time that I made the absolute best salad out of leftovers. I declared myself a genius and felt very smug until I learned that what I had “invented” was a variation on the Nicoise salad and people have been eating them in France forever. I was just late to the game because I am decidedly not cosmopolitan. Nicoise is still my favorite salad, even if someone else was the real inventor.
This was a similar experience, and for all I know, people could eat this every day in Italy and have a name for it. It too was created from leftovers. My original version involved a blueberry sauce, and I made it in the dead of winter. This time, it was a deliberate creation in honor of in season berries, and I added some basil to complement the Italian ingredients of polenta and ricotta.
As written, this will feed a group of 4 to 6 people for breakfast, or it can be prepared as part of a weekly meal prep for 1 person, which is what I do.
1 cup corn grits (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
10 oz full-fat ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 cups strawberries chopped
¼ cup basil chiffonade (optional, but recommended)
1 tablespoon sugar
1. Prepare polenta according to package instructions. It should make approximately 4 cups when cooked.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add ricotta cheese, vanilla, and maple syrup. Beat with an electric mixer for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Combine strawberries, basil, and sugar in a medium sized bowl.
4. This can be either served immediately, with all 3 components layered in bowls, or for meal prep, the polenta, cheese mixture, and berry mixture can be stored in the refrigerator in separate bowls.