Breakfast Polenta Stacks with Rosemary White Beans

Breakfast Polenta Stacks with Rosemary White Beans

Today’s Breakfast Polenta Stacks have all the appearance of a hangover cure. They’ve got cheese, fried eggs with deliciously frizzled edges and shatteringly crisp bacon. Oh! And beans, can’t forget them. Beans are central to the recovery process thanks to their powers of absorption and general bulk. But I did not serve these Breakfast Polenta Stacks as a Sunday brunch alongside hair-of-the-dog. I ate these bad boys for Friday night dinner whilst in the process of getting drunk and, man, did it feel spectacularly good…Please drink responsibly.

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Creamy Polenta - Breakfast Polenta Stacks with Rosemary White Beans

I may not be the person to look to for brunch advice because I have conflicted feelings about the meal altogether. Brunch seems to lack any necessity. It throws one’s natural eating patterns off. And personally, I don’t like eating a giant meal in the middle of the day and I don’t particularly like drinking in the middle of the day unless I’m beach adjacent. I’m aware that caveat is fairly arbitrary but really what personal preference isn’t?

Creamy Polenta - Breakfast Polenta Stacks with Rosemary White Beans
Polenta Cakes - Breakfast Polenta Stacks with Rosemary White Beans

When I make a big meal, I usually have people by, you know, to spread out the calories. And brunch? Brunch is a big ass meal if you’re doing it right. And I’m not liable to have people over at 11 am on Sunday because let’s face it, my inner introvert would never allow such shenanigans. But I do love brunch food. I love waffles, poached eggs, and full fry-ups like there’s no tomorrow. It’s just the timing of the whole event I can’t get down with.

Rosemary White Beans - Breakfast Polenta Stacks with Rosemary White Beans

Solution: Breakfast for dinner. Now, I realize I’m not the first person to fry an egg at 7 pm. The brinner movement has been alive and well for decades. But I think with the rise of fancy restaurant brunch culture, we forgot the simple pleasure of eggs benny before bed. But not too close to bedtime – let’s not give Big Antacid too much of our business.

Crispy Bacon - Breakfast Polenta Stacks with Rosemary White Beans

So, with these seemingly innocent Breakfast Polenta Stacks in my corner, I decided to start a revolution. Well, a movement? Aw geez! Nothing I do on this blog is that important, let’s call it a notion. And that notion is, you can have brunch whenever you damn well please. 6:30 pm, 8 pm, 9. You can early bird your brunch and serve at 5. Or you could go to the other extreme and serve at 5 am. I’m not prepared to do the research to how well that goes down, as I’m quite attached to sleep. But if you give it go, tell me how it is.

Crispy Sunny-Side-Up Eggs - Breakfast Polenta Stacks with Rosemary White Beans

While these Breakfast Polenta Stacks look like they have a lot of moving parts, they’re actually quite simple. Really, the only thing that requires some degree of skill and forethought is the polenta. Essentially, you mix up polenta as if you were serving it soft. Then you pour it into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and leave it to cool completely. This takes about 6 hours to ensure it is well and truly solid. Once the polenta is slice-able, carve it up and fry the pieces in what will look like too much hot oil. This is not just a debacherous flourish, you will need this oil to form a crust on the polenta quickly, so it holds its shape while its interior softens and becomes wonderfully creamy.

Breakfast Polenta Stacks with Rosemary White Beans

Once you’ve cleared the polenta, it really is smooth sailing. The beans are a breeze and only require a deft hand with a can opener. And the bacon and eggs are as simple as, well, bacon and eggs. After that, there’s nothing else to do but plate the whole mess up. And speaking of mess, feel free to be as careful as you please with your stacking. I was a bit haphazard with mine, but I sort of like the greasy spoon-esque carelessness of this finished dish. These Breakfast Polenta Stacks are meant to evoke memories of the full English minus a few cast members – there’s only so much room on the plate.

Breakfast Polenta Stacks with Rosemary White Beans

So, that’s everything you need to know about these Breakfast Polenta Stacks with Rosemary White Beans. They’re quick, easy and soul satisfying in every cheesy sense of the phrase. They’re so damn good, you’ll want to eat them day and night.

Breakfast Polenta Stacks with Rosemary White Beans

Enjoy!

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Breakfast Polenta Stacks

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Resting Time 2 hrs
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Fried Polenta Cakes

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 bay leaves dried
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup parmesan shredded
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter cubed

Rosemary White Beans

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
  • 2 (540 mL, 18.2 fl oz) cans white beans
  • 1 (796 mL, 27 fl oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp demerara sugar
  • 1 lemon juiced

Breakfast Polenta Stacks

  • 1 batch fried polenta cakes see above
  • 1 batch Rosemary White Beans see above
  • 12 strips bacon
  • 8 eggs
  • fresh rosemary for sprinkling

Instructions
 

Fried Polenta Cakes

  • Whisk the water, polenta, olive oil, bay leaves, and salt together in a large saucepan. Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook, whisking constantly,  until the mixture thickens and becomes homogeneous. This should take 10-15 minutes
  • Switch to a wooden spoon and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking the polenta, stirring frequently, until thick, glossy and smooth. This will take another 10-15 minutes.
  • Take the polenta off of the heat and remove the bay leaves. Add the butter and parmesan and stir until both are thoroughly incorporated. Pour the polenta into a small 13×8-inch baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Set aside to cool for at least 6 hours.
  • When ready to serve. Heat an inch of neutral oil in a large cast iron frying pan until shimmering. Cut the polenta into 8 pieces and add them to the pan. Fry each side of the polenta pieces until they are browned and readily pull away from the surface of the frying pan. About 2-3 minutes a side. Transfer the cakes to a plate lined with paper towel and keep warm until ready to serve.

Rosemary White Beans

  • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet until shimmering. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and saute over medium-low heat until just translucent. About 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes more.
  • Add the rosemary and saute until the smell intensifies. This should be quick, about 1 minute. Add the white beans to the pan and toss to coat in the onions, garlic, rosemary, and oil.
  • Increase the heat to high and pour in the diced tomatoes, juice and all. Add the water, sugar and salt and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the beans from the heat. Add the lemon juice and taste. Season with additional salt accordingly.

Polenta Breakfast Stacks

  • Line a baking sheet with tin foil and place the bacon neatly on top. Place the bacon in a cold oven. Set the oven to 400°F and cook for 20-25 minutes, depending on how crisp you want your bacon.
  • Once the bacon is roughly 5 minutes away, heat a small amount of olive oil in a non-stick pan. Make sure the pan is quite hot when you crack in the eggs (as many as you can fit), this will keep the whites from spreading all over the place. Reduce the heat to medium and place a lid on top of the pan. Cook until the whites around the base of the yoke start to look misty and the edges of the egg are browned and crisp.
  • Place a fried polenta cake on a plate and top with a generous spoonful of the beans. Place two strips of bacon on top of the beans and place an egg on top of them. Top the egg with another fried polenta cake and repeat. Beans, bacon, and finally egg. Repeat this layering process on the remaining plates. Serve immediately.

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