I love polenta. It makes a great side dish to any number of vegetables, meats, and even the humble poached egg. And as much as I love polenta, I'm not so crazy about having so much corn (and the sugars that are hidden inside) in my diet. So I started thinking about a substitute that would still have great flavor and that wouldn't change the creamy texture that polenta is so well known for. Maintaining the beautiful yellow color was also something that was important to me and I didn't want to add any coloring (dyes, tumeric, saffron, etc.).

Enter the yellow split pea. Significantly more nutritious than corn, a 1/4 cup of yellow split peas contains almost 50% of your recommended daily intake of fiber and considerably less sugars. And it still tastes great, with a slightly more earthy pea flavor. So how do you make it? The same way you would polenta, but with one little step before you can begin cooking. And it involves a coffee grinder.


First you must grind the yellow split peas in a coffee grinder dedicated for spices. Just wipe out any spice residue before you begin. Also, you should make sure to pick through the split peas first to make sure that there are no small pebbles that could ruin your blade. Grind until the split peas resemble something like coarsely ground corn. Then just cook like you would polenta, whisking quickly at first to break up any clumps. A little butter, salt and pepper and you are all set.


kvh said...

Woah, great idea, but I'm thinking it should be called polentil...

ashleynorth said...

you're a clever man, Phil. I just had polenta yesterday and then more corn later and I was feeling puzzled about it...NOW, I can rest easy with some pealenta.

Kathleen Ferraro said...

The split pea version sounds terrific, from a flavor and nutrition perspective. Since I'm away from my fully-equipped US kitchen and don't have a coffee grinder here in Tubingen (buy coffee 125 g at a time and have it ground), I may try this with chickpea flour. Am going to try red kuri squash with cocoa nibs soon. Happy holidays. Love the recipes.