RECIPE

Polenta Egg Bake and Roasted Sausages with Vinegar and Grapes

The eggs in this recipe are a new version of Birds in a Nest – the polenta being the nest here. The sausage dish dates back to Columbus. It’s an oldie but a goodie and better than ever when served with these eggs.

Tidbit from Rachael: Muffin tins hold six portions, so two people get two eggs or everyone gets 1 1/2 – your call. I could eat four all by myself, easy!

Ingredients

  • Softened butter, for greasing muffin tins
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 4 Italian sweet sausages, pricked with a fork
  • 4 Italian hot sausages, pricked with a fork
  • 1 pound seedless black or red grapes
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus some for drizzling
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup good quality aged balsamic vinegar – you don’t have to go too pricy
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 ounces arugula
  • 10 basil leaves, torn
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Preparation

Pre-heat the oven to 425°F.

Butter a nonstick regular size muffin tin, the 6-cup kind.

In a medium size stock pot over medium heat, bring the milk and chicken stock to a boil.

While the milk and stock is coming to a bubble, place the sausages and grapes in a baking dish drizzle liberally with EVOO, about 2 tablespoons, then season with pepper. Pour the cup of balsamic over the dish and pop into the hot oven to roast for 20-25 minutes.

To bubbling milk and stock, slowly whisk in the polenta and continue whisking until it begins to thicken and resemble hot oatmeal, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add in the cheese and season with salt and pepper.


Pour the polenta into the muffin tins, half of the way up the muffin cups. Once all the cups are filled, form a well in each cup with the back of a spoon by pushing the polenta up the side of the cups ‘til it reaches the top of the rims. Crack an egg into each “nest” of polenta. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes – the yolk will still be a little runny. Remove from the oven and let sit a couple of minutes.

Toss arugula and basil with lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon of EVOO to coat lightly, then season with salt and pepper.

Run a small butter knife around the edges of the polenta nests to loosen from the sides of the muffin tin. Gently help them out of the muffin tins with a fork.

Serve two sausages per person, one each hot and sweet, with grapes with thickened balsamic drippings spooned over top and the egg nest/s and greens alongside.


This is one of many “Yum-o!” recipes – it’s good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael’s nonprofit organization, go to www.yum-o.org.

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Rachael Ray