Yakima Valley Polenta


This recipe comes courtesy of Seattle’s celebrated veg restaurant Cafe Flora. “Merv Dykstra, one of our favorite purveyors, inspired this recipe,” explains the restaurant’s executive chef Janine Doran. “Instead of calling it ‘Merv’s Polenta,’ we named it after Yakima Valley, near where Merv is from.” Cafe Flora grills homemade polenta triangles, but we made things easier by calling for prepared polenta.


Cherry Reduction

  • 1 cup port wine
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. herbes de Provence
  • ½ lb. fresh or frozen Bing cherries, pitted and halved


  • 2 16-oz. tubes prepared polenta, cut into 8 rounds each
  • 1½ Tbs. olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • ¾ lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • ½ tsp. herbes de Provence
  • 3 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 3 oz. Cambozola or Gorgonzola cheese, sliced


To make Cherry Reduction:

1. Bring all ingredients except cherries to a simmer in saucepan over medium heat. Cook 15 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in cherries, and cook 5 minutes more.

To make Polenta:

2. Preheat oven to broil. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Brush polenta rounds with oil, and place on baking sheet. Broil 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned. Keep warm.

3. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add green beans and onion, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until green beans are tender. Stir in herbes de Provence, season with salt and pepper, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, or until fragrant. Stir in lemon juice and cook 2 minutes.

4. Place 2 cheese slices on each polenta round to melt. Spoon green bean mixture onto plates. Top with polenta, and drizzle with Cherry Reduction.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: Serves 8
  • Calories: 250
  • Cholesterol Content: 9 mg
  • Fat Content: 9 g
  • Fiber Content: 4 g
  • Protein Content: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 3 g
  • Sodium Content: 725 mg
  • Sugar Content: 13 g