Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
This is an incredible polenta casserole. Adapted from the New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant.
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 3 cups water
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated (2 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 4 cups onions, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1⁄3 cup fresh basil (3 tablespoons dried)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- black pepper
- 3 cups eggplants, cubed or yellow
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 1⁄2 cups zucchini, cubed
- 1 1⁄2 cups drained canned tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1⁄2 cup red wine
- 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated (1 1/2 ounces)
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated (12 ounces)
- Bring the water to a rapid boil.
- Gradually add the cornmeal in a thin stream, stirring rapidly.
- While continuing to stir, add the butter, salt, and pepper.
- Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.
- Stir often, especially at the bottom of the pot, to avoid sticking.
- When the polenta has thickened, remove it from the heat and stir in 3/4 cup of Parmesan.
- Pour the polenta into a well-buttered 12-inch casserole dish and let it cool for several minutes.
- Then refrigerate it until you are ready to assemble the casserole.
- Sauté the garlic and onions in oil until the onions are translucent.
- Add the carrots, celery, herbs, and spices, and continue to cook on medium heat for several minutes.
- When the carrots are bright in color, add the eggplant and continue to sauté for 5 minutes.
- Stir frequently.
- Add the peppers and zucchini and cook until tender.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and red wine, if desired and simmer 5 minutes longer.
- Remove the vegetables from the heat and stir in the 1/2 cup Parmesan.
- Take the chilled polenta from the refrigerator and spoon on the vegetable sauce.
- Top with the grated mozzarella.
- Bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the cheese begins to brown at the edges.
- Allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.
- If you have too little time to bake the casserole, try serving the vegetables over hot polenta topped with the mozzarella.
- We prefer the casserole, but when time is of the essence, it pays to be flexible.
- Serve with a crisp green salad.
This was very tasty. The polenta was a little soggy, but did not take away from the taste of the veggies. I had to bake much longer than one hour before the veggies were tender. I suggest topping with cheese the last 20 minutes or so. Very good left-over dish. I will be making this again.