Sunday, February 17, 2008

Vegetarian Polenta Entrees

Having made a huge pot of beef stew, I thought it was time for some vegetarian goodies! I made two vegetarian polenta dishes (on two separate dinners) for Anna and Cathleen, my vegetarian friends, and both came out pretty good :)

The first was a polenta casserole based on Marcela Hazan's polenta bake. Instead of sausage I sauteed some diced eggplant (peeled) in olive oil and added it on top of the tomato sauce.

The second dish I just made up today, loosely based on Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook.

Creamy Herbed Polenta with Vegetables
Serves four

1 cup polenta meal
4 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup prepared tomatoe sauce (I use Romano's Marinara)

Vegetables: Use whatever you have on hand. Today I had the following:
1 1/2 cup organic baby carrots
1 large yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 large orange bell pepper
1 lb baby spinach

Bring 4 1/2 cups of water in a 4-6 quart heavy saucepan to boil. When it comes to a boil, turn down the heat to medium low. Sprinkle in the polenta little by little -- 1 tablespoon at a time -- and continue to whisk until all the polenta has been added. Continue whisking/stirring and cooking the polenta mixture over low heat for 20 more minutes until the polenta is fully cooked and pulls away from the side of the pan.

While the polenta is cooking (don't forget to stir it), heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a sautee pan over medium heat. Cook the baby carrots and yellow bell peppers over medium heat until slightly brown, cooked through, and slightly caramelized, about 15 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the baby carrots and yellow bell peppers from the pan. Add two more tablespoons oil. Add baby spinach to the pan until wilted. Season with garlic salt or just salt and pepper.

Warm the cream in the microwave and slowly whisk it into the polenta mixture. Add the mixed herbs and cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

To serve:

Spoon the soft polenta into a shallow bowl. Spoon some marinara sauce in the middle of it. Arrange the sautee vegetables on top of the polenta.

Serve immediately.


amychien said...

this sounds so good! I will have to try it soon!

evicious said...
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