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Dining Tip: Poached Eggs, Polenta and Arugula-Walnut Pesto

A homey spring dish that's just right for an Italian white

Jennifer Fiedler
Posted: April 9, 2012

Note: This recipe originally appeared in "8 & 20," the wine and food matchmaking column by Jennifer Fiedler on WineSpectator.com.

• 1 cup cornmeal polenta
• 2 cups fresh or frozen green peas
• 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
• 2 cups arugula
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled
• 1/4 cup high-quality olive oil
• 4 eggs
• 1 cup pea shoots

1. In a medium-size saucepan, bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Sprinkle the cornmeal into the water slowly while whisking, then cover. Cook until the water has been absorbed and the polenta is soft, stirring occasionally, around 15 to 20 minutes. While the polenta is cooking, bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil, add the peas and cook until bright green, around 2 minutes. Strain the peas and reserve. When the polenta is done, turn off the heat, stir in the peas and reserve.

2. Combine the garlic, arugula and walnuts in a food processor. Blend to a rough paste while drizzling in the 1/4 cup olive oil slowly. Season to taste and reserve.

3. In a large open saucepan, bring 3 inches of salted water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. One at a time, crack the eggs into a bowl, then slide each egg into the simmering water. Cook for 4 minutes, or until the yolk has set but not hardened, then remove from the water with a slotted spoon.

4. Assemble each dish with the polenta-and-pea mixture, topped by a tablespoon of the walnut-arugula pesto, an egg and 1/4 cup of pea shoots for garnish. Serves 4.

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