Pork, Polenta and Plums

Panzanella - Tuscan Bread Salad

I was inspired by a fabulous recipe for a Panzanella, which is a Tuscan salad made with fresh tomatoes, toasted bread cubes and any number of herbs and vegetables all drizzled with good olive oil and vinegar.  I had to have this salad!

I had planned on a pork tenderloin roulade (stuffed and rolled), but I decided this salad would be too busy looking, next to a fussy, twirly, stuffed pork roll.

Succulent Slow Roasted Pork

So, Boston Butt pork roast was the obvious substitution.  Yummy, so succulent, so delicious!

I slow roasted it on a bed of rough cut onion, carrots and  celery (the holy trinity of the kitchen).  I poured a bottle of Spanish Naranja Agria (Bitter Orange Marinade) over the roast.  The Cubans make the same sauce and call it Mojo.  My grocery store has at least five different versions and brands of this marinade.  It’s made of bitter or sour oranges, garlic, onions, cumin, salt and pepper.  It makes and excellent marinade or braising sauce for pork.

To go with the pork roast, I decided on polenta.  I haven’t had it in ages and it’s been calling to me.  While sorting through my recipe stacks, I came across a recipe for pumpkin sage grits, which sounded amazing to me.  I morphed that headline into pumpkin polenta with sage and chives.

Way better than grits, don’t you think?

Creamy Polenta with Sage and Chives

The polenta was creamy, cheesy comfort food heaven!  I served it in a rustic wooden bowl with a big wooden serving spoon.  It looked like a magazine shoot.  Too bad I didn’t get a very good shot of it myself, but you must trust me, it was gorgeous.

I topped it all off with a plum cobbler and vanilla ice cream.  I love this cobbler recipe.  The plum mixture has a bit of fresh ginger in it, which provides a nice surprise in your mouth.  Most cobblers use a biscuit type dough for a crust.  This recipe uses a cross between a pie crust and a biscuit.  To flour, sugar and baking soda, you add chilled butter and chilled CREAM CHEESE and the dough is moistened with BUTTER MILK.  Can you stand it?  Doesn’t that sound fabulous?  And to just take the whole thing over the top, course ground turbinado sugar is sprinkled on the crust before baking.  Check out the recipe.  Really easy, really amazing.

Warm Plum Cobbler Waiting for a Dollop of Vanilla Ice Cream


5 Responses to Pork, Polenta and Plums

  1. Gabriel says:


    I’m a Montreal friend of your daughter, Barbara. She told me about your blog because I love to cook and am working for a family here as a cook/housekeeper to pay the bills. I’ll definitely try some of your recipes!


    • Hi Gabriel, Thanks for taking a look around. I love to cook and now I am learning about food photography. I hope to publish a cook book some day. Please let me know, any time, if you need ideas or advice on how to please your clients. All the best to you!
      Carol Bentley

  2. Gabriel says:

    I think I’ll try the cauliflower au gratin this week– they love cauliflower but so far all I’ve done is roasted, soups and raw.

    By the way– I don’t know if you make pulled pork on the barbecue but something thing I’ve been doing recently (because I don’t have one) is making it in a slow cooker and adding hickory smoke extract to the rub. It’s delicious and almost fools me that it was made the “correct” way! The extract is also great in some stews and roasts.

    Anyway, happy cooking! I’ll certainly be writing more when I have a spare moment. Apart from music, food is what I love most : )


  3. Sue Van Houten says:

    Oh man- this food looks so yummy. I can’t wait to come back from Michigan to try it.

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