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R Italian Market in Greenwood is a Culinary Gem

#GreenwoodIN – You may have noticed the flashing sign in the window or you may have stumbled upon it by accident . Either way if you have already discovered R Italian Market, then you know what a Southside treasure it is.

A Mural on the wall near the kitchen of the Rodgers'

A mural on the wall near the kitchen of the Rodgers’ Italian market

In it’s second year of business, R Italian Market services the Greenwood area with gourmet Italian fare to-go, specialty meats and grocery items that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else. I was in need of culinary inspiration and had a craving for polenta (cornmeal dish) and cheese and I knew that I would find what I needed at R Italian Market.

Rows and rows of specialty foods.

Rows and rows of specialty foods.

Located on St Rd 135 south of County Line Road in Greenwood, this eclectic shop is home to a selection of meats, cheeses and pastas that rival many you would find on the east coast. Local fans I met that day in the shop were picking up a salami that they have only been able to find in their native state of New Jersey.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

Every time I am there to pick up ingredients or my favorite Tiramisu, owner Dave Rodgers greets me at the door with a smile and a few compliments on what I have been up to along with some recipe ideas. On this particular day he helped me pick out just the right house grated cheese blend for the layered polenta I was hoping to have for dinner.

Grab and go meats and cheeses.

Grab and go meats and cheeses.

Dinner is ready with one of their many selections.

Dinner is ready with one of their many selections.

More selection than I can list here. Visit their website for more information on their rotating list of meats and cheeses.

More selection than I can list here. Visit their website for more information on their rotating list of meats and cheeses.

With operating hours of  11:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday-Friday and 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Saturday, you can easily pick up one of their many take and eat lasagnas, pasta salads or selections of meats, cheeses and freshly baked breads.

Visit their website HERE for information on their full line of products, catering services and more.

Would you like to see what I made after my outing to R Italian Market? I made a very simple layered polenta.Polenta, akin to  grits, is made easily by whisking the cornmeal into boiling water. The key here is to whisk them in to avoid lumps. Then remove from heat and place a lid on the pot so it can continue to cook for a few minutes. From here you can serve as is, top with a meaty sauce OR add to a loaf pan in layers of diced tomatoes, freshly grated Italian cheeses and cooked Italian sausage.

This is a very simple recipe and you can make it a day ahead or start it in the morning. This Italian Layered Polenta is great on it’s own, dusted in cheese before baking or with a light marinara sauce.

R Italian Market Greenwood Polenta Slices Finished

Italian Layered Polenta

1 Box of DeLallo Potenta (or other 9.2 oz box of instant polenta)

*cooked as directed with 1 TB butter and 1/4 C grated Parmesan whisked in

1/2  pound of ground Italian sausage, browned and drained well and allowed to cool a bit

1 tablespoons of dried Italian seasoning

1 15.5 ounce can of Red Gold petite diced diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, drained well

2 cups of  grated mozzarella cheese (if you intend to add a bit to layers before baking)

R Italian Market Greenwood Supplies

Line a loaf pan with non-stick foil.

R Italian Market Greenwood Polenta Steps

Layer 1/2 of the cooked polenta in the loaf pan.

R Italian Market Greenwood Sausage Layer

Add a layer of meat, a layer of 1 cup of cheese, and a layer of tomatoes sprinkled with the Italian seasoning.

R Italian Market Greenwood Polenta

Carefully top layers with remaining polenta and spread to the sides forming a seal.

Place plastic wrap in top and press all layers down.

Refrigerate for 2 hours or until cooled. Overnight is great as well.

Preheat oven to 375°.

When ready to reheat, carefully invert pan onto a cutting board.

R Italian Market Greenwood Polenta Slices

Carefully transfer to pan. Some of mine turned out better than others!

Remove foil and slice into 1 inch thick slices. Place slices on a baking sheet (line with parchment for better success).

Bake the slices for 8-10 minutes or until cheese layer is melting and slice is heated through.

I like to add the remaining 1 cup of cheese to my slices before baking but that is optional.