Mixed Greens With Polenta Croutons And Gorgonzola
|Salt||1 1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Instant polenta||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Chicory head||1 Small (Curly Endive)|
|Romaine lettuce head||1 Small|
|Belgian endive||1 Large|
|Red wine vinegar||1 Tablespoon|
|Olive oil||8 1⁄2 Tablespoon (Preferably Extra Virgin)|
|Walnut oil||1 Tablespoon|
|Dijon mustard||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Freshly ground pepper||1⁄8 Teaspoon|
|Gorgonzola cheese||4 Ounce (At Room Temperature)|
1. In a heavy medium saucepan, bring 2 1/4 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and stir in the polenta. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the polenta thickens. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the polenta pulls away from the sides of the pan when stirred, about 15 minutes. (Note that the cooking time, longer than specified on the box, is needed to produce a tight, relatively dry polenta that will hold together when fried.)
2. Scrape the thickened polenta out of the pan onto a nonreactive baking sheet. Using a lightly oiled wooden or plastic spatula, spread the polenta into an even rectangle about 12 by 6 by 1/4 inch. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the salad greens. Cut the core from the radicchio and separate the head into individual leaves. Separate the chicory and ro-maine into individual leaves, remove the tough ribs and tear the leaves into bite-size pieces. Separate the Belgian endive into separate leaves. Combine the greens, rinse thoroughly and dry. Wrap the greens in paper towels, place in a plastic bag and refrigerate if not serving at once. (The can be made 1 day ahead to this point.)
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the walnut oil, mustard, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Set the dressing aside.
5. Preheat the broiler. Remove the polenta from the refrigerator. Cut the polenta into 6 rectangles 6 by 2 inches each. Heat the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil in a large skillet. Add the polenta and saute over moderately high heat, turning once, until crisp and golden, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spatula and drain on paper towels. (The can be prepared to this point up to 1 hour ahead.)
6. Spread the Gorgonzola over the fried polenta.
7. To assemble the salad, toss the greens with the vinaigrette until coated. Divide among 6 plates.
8. Run the polenta croutons under the broiler, until the cheese melts, about 1 minute. Slice each rectangle crosswise into 6 smaller rectangles or cut into triangles and, while still warm, arrange on top of the salad.