Greens with Polenta Croutons

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Olive oil, for greasing the pan

Kosher salt

1 cup instant polenta 

1 tablespoon unsalted butter 

1/2 cup grated cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano 

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped 


2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 

10 cups (5 ounces) mixed baby greens 

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 

2 tablespoons dried cranberries or currants 

1/3 cup crumbled Roquefort cheese 


  1. For the polenta: Coat a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with a thin coat of olive oil.
  2. Combine 4 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Slowly add the polenta, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low, bringing the polenta to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, 5 to 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter, cheese and rosemary. Pour the polenta into the prepared dish and cool completely until firm.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone liner.
  4. Unmold the polenta, cut into 1-inch squares and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until crisp and golden, about 1 hour.
  5. For the salad: Meanwhile, whisk together the vinegar and Dijon in a small bowl along with some salt and pepper. Add the oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Toss the greens with the dressing in a large salad bowl. Add the tomatoes, cranberries, and Roquefort and toss again. Arrange the salad on a large serving platter or individual plates. Top with half the croutons and serve immediately. Reserve the remaining croutons for another use in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.