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This dish is perfect in the spring or summer when vegetables are plenty. It reminds me of a rustic dish you could get at a little Italian eatery. Don't be daunted by the long list of ingredients, the meal comes together quickly. I have a gluten allergy and the polenta satisfies any bread cravings I might have. The dish is also a great vegetarian option, but I swear it will make any carnivore happy :) The vegetables can also be done in the broiler.
- 1 cup uncooked instant polenta
- 2⁄3 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 1⁄8-1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- vegetable oil cooking spray
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (or oregano)
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 asparagus spears, ends trimmed
- 8 scallions, trimmed
- 2 small eggplants, trimmed and halved
- 1 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- 12 ounces prepared roasted red peppers, drained
- 1⁄3 cup vegetable broth
- 1 large garlic clove, chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus extra
- fresh basil, to garnish
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a medium-sized heavy saucepan. Add polenta, whisking quickly to combine. Reduce heat to a medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until thick- about 3-5 minutes. Whisk in 1/3 cup Parmesan and season with the cayenne pepper and salt. Coat a 9" pie plate with cooking spray and pour the polenta into the prepared pie plate and smooth out the surface and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat grill (or broiler). Whisk together garlic, thyme, lemon juice, and oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Toss vegetables with the dressing. Coat a grill basket (or cooking tray) with cooking spray and arrange vegetables. Grill vegetables until tender and slightly charred- about 3-5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter.
- Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Heat broiler, sprinkle polenta with remaining Parmesan cheese. Broil polenta until golden brown- about 2-3 minutes, then slice into 8 pieces. Divide polenta among 4 plates. Top with vegetable, drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with fresh basil.
I agree with the above comment. The roasted red pepper sauce was delicious, but conflicted with the thyme that the vegetables were roasted in. Also, I ended up using more olive oil than called for to keep the vegetables more moist.
I made this dish the other night. I found the two flavors, the marinade for the vegetables and the roasted red pepper sauce did not compliment each other very well. I am a big polenta fan, so i'll try this again- but next time will just put oilve oil on the veggies.