Tuesday, April 2, 2013

30 minute dinner: fresh mozzarella, polenta, and eggs a la Jesse over roast asparagus

The pan on its way into the oven has enough polenta and asparagus for three dinners. Yay, leftovers!  
This isn't a real cooking blog. If it were, I would probably have titled this post "15 minute dinner" or "10 minute dinner," because the meal takes only 10-15 minutes of prep time. However,  I am more concerned with the time it takes to go from thinking "I'd like to be eating" to the time when I actually am, in fact, eating. This menu takes me 28 minutes from walking into the kitchen and turning on the oven to sitting down with a plated meal.

prepared polenta in log form
fresh mozzarella
fresh tomatoes
fresh eggs
olive oil
canola oil or butter
spices - I used salt and black pepper on the asparagus and freeze-dried shallots and lemon pepper on the eggs.

Preheat the oven to 425.

Slice polenta into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Brush olive oil on the bottom. Top with a thin-mint sized chunk of mozz and some sliced tomatoes.

Wash asparagus and break at natural breaking point. Gently shake dry. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper (or other desired herbs and spices) to taste.

If oven is not hot yet, wash things while you wait. If you need to keep killing time, arrange a small bowl of pickled mushrooms to accompany your dinner.

Put asparagus and polenta rounds into oven and set timer for 10 min.

Start Eggs a la Jesse: Heat canola oil or butter (and onions or garlic, if desired) in frying pan over medium heat. When hot, break in eggs. Sprinkle with spices of your choice. Cover with well-fitting lid and turn down heat to medium low.

As soon as the whites are done, turn off the heat and let the eggs sit until the yolks have reached desired consistency.

Check oven after 10 minutes. With my oven, I turn the pan around and cook for another 5 minutes to heat evenly.

Eat dinner.

Variations on a theme: 

  • Want to take this to work to eat for lunch? Hard boil the eggs instead and everything will be delicious at room temperature. 
  • Made enough for leftover polenta and asparagus and want to vary your protein intake? Reheat in the toaster oven with a Boca or Morningstar patty from the freezer. Or toss white beans in a quick vinaigrette with some dried basil and oregano the night before and eat cold.
  • No asparagus? Try zucchini medallions, thinly-sliced wedges of cabbage or vertically-halved broccoli or cauliflower florets instead.
  • No fresh mozzarella or polenta? Try cheddar over rye bread or parmesan over sweet potato rounds. You might want to par-cook the sweet potato rounds in the microwave a bit first, depending on thickness. 


  1. I love the "Actions" heading. Also, the variations. Also, Jesse makes delicious eggs.

    1. Jesse does make delicious eggs. Even when he does eggs a la other people.