Polenta is one of those ingredients that I love that we don't use a lot. Really, we use it only in one of our favorite standby recipes. It's creamy when made from scratch, and I'm not sure why we don't think to use it more often.
So for a while now, I've been mulling over how to use some creamy homemade polenta in a dish. Then I saw the Baked Polenta Squares with Summer Vegetable Topping from Vanilla & Spice and was inspired.
For the polenta, we used Giada De Laurentiis' recipe, which consists of water, salt, cornmeal and butter. We added about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of Parmesan with the butter.
The dish turned out quite well with the creaminess of the polenta and the tang of the Parmesan mixing with the tomato sauce and the heartiness of the vegetables. And it's filling enough to stand as a main course. It plays nicely with other food, too, pairing well with a side salad.
Saucy Summer Vegetables over Creamy Parmesan Polenta
4 to 6 servings
Basic polenta recipe
1 to 1 1/2 cups Parmesan
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 small white onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic
4 small zucchini, sliced
15 to 20 grape tomatoes, halved
15 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon lime basil
1/2 tablespoon Italian parsley
1. In a large pot, cook the polenta according to directions. (Boil water, add salt, gradually add cornmeal and add butter at the end.) Add the Parmesan with the butter.
2. In a separate pan, saute the onions, garlic, zucchini and grape tomatoes in the olive oil over medium heat. The onions should turn translucent and the zucchini should soften.
3. Add the tomato sauce and simmer over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, basil, lime basil and Italian parsley. Serve over about 1 cup of polenta.