I have been a big fan of polenta for as long as I can remember. I love everything about it; it’s rich, creamy texture; it’s bright, yellow color; and it’s deliciously, decadent flavor. I put it right up there with risotto. Upon doing some research, I learned that polenta, is in fact, a dish, not a type of cornmeal. When you set out to buy ‘polenta’, you are actually, quite simply looking for ground corn. Traditionally, polenta was a peasant dish commonly made in northern Italy. Now, it has been adopted and adapted to find it’s way onto many fine dining menus in America, as well as a staple side dish for many home cooks.
With creamy polenta as the base, and warm, stewed vegetables on top– it is true comfort food at its best.
Creamy Polenta with Stewed Vegetables
- 1 Eggplant
- 1 Zucchini
- 1 Yellow Squash
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion Diced
- 2 Garlic Cloves Minced
- 1 c. Medium Grind Yellow Corn Meal
- 2 14 oz. Cans Diced Tomatoes
- 4c.+2 tbsp Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
- 1 tsp. Sugar
- 3/4 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Fresh Thyme
- 1 tsp. Fresh Italian Parsley
- 1 tsp. Fresh Basil
- 1/2 tsp. Dried Oregano
- 1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 tbsp Vegan Butter
- Quarter the eggplant, then slice into 1/2 inch pieces. For zucchini and squash, cut in half and then slice into 1/2 pieces.
- Heat vegetable stock in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add squash, zucchini, and eggplant. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from burning and sticking to the pan. *Add more vegetable stock if vegetables begin to stick.
- Meanwhile, in medium/large saucepan, heat vegetable broth. Bring to a boil.
- Whisk the cornmeal into the broth to avoid clumps forming. Reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add 2 cans of diced tomatoes (with juice) to the vegetables. Add sugar, salt, red pepper flakes and all herbs.
- Bring to a boil then reduce to low. Cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep vegetables from burning or sticking to the pan.
- Add butter to the polenta and stir.
- Pour polenta into bowls and dish vegetables over the top. Add any fresh herbs to the top as a garnish. Serve immediately.