I saw this recipe from Williams-Sonoma about 2 weeks ago and knew I wanted to give it a try. I have been trying to introduce more things polenta into our meals to cut back on starches like potatoes, bread and white rice. Sean isn’t exactly thrilled with it so far, so I try to do things with it to make it a little more palatable to him. This recipe could easily be a main course on its own if you wanted a vegetarian meal or you can use it as a side dish for a meal, which is what I did.
Polenta with Roasted Vegetables
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the pans
1 small eggplant, cunt into 3/4-inch pieces
2 small zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 small yellow squash, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/2 red onion, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup stone ground cornmeal (polenta)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Oil a rimmed baking sheet and an 8-inch baking dish with olive oil
In a large bowl, combine the eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, red onion and bell pepper. Drizzle with the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast, tossing once, until the vegetables are caramelized, about 20 to 25 minutes. Set the vegetables aside and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Stirring constantly, very slowly add the polenta. Cook, stirring constantly, until the polenta begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking the polenta, stirring frequently, until the polenta is soft, about 25 minutes. Add the butter and Parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese has melted. Pour the polenta into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top.
Bake the polenta just until it begins to set, about 15 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and top the polenta evenly with the roasted vegetables. Place the polenta back in the oven and continue to bake it until the vegetables are heated through, about 15 minutes. Serve the polenta directly from the dish.
I did change a few things about the original recipe. The original recipe also calls for 2 cups of Fontina cheese to be added at the same time as the Parmesan. I did not have any on hand, so I just used the Parmesan instead and I think it turned out fine. Since I am not a cheese eater, this was more than enough for me but you may like it even better with the Fontina. Also, I did not use the eggplant or the pepper. Michelle and Sean are not big eggplant fans, so I omitted it from the recipe and used extra zucchini and squash instead. I also did not have an orange pepper so I added a diced carrot instead for similar color. You could easily make this as a main course for a meal and it would be quite filling. We have leftovers to use as side dishes for other meals this week. I loved the creaminess of the polenta and the vegetables added just the right texture and flavor to the dish.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for some more recipes I have been working on. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!