Cheesy Polenta with Roasted Vegetables

I never had polenta until a few years ago. My mom hated the yellow stuff so we never had it. After tasting it for the first time, I remember being in complete shock at the notion that there are people in this world who are going around not liking polenta. It's craziness! Who doesn't like polenta? If you don't like it, I must know why. It's confounding, so please tell me. I'm dying to know. 

If you, for some obscure reason have had an aversion to poletna in the past but want to try it again (I do this with root beer floats every six years or so...still hate 'em), this is the perfect dish. This poletna is rich with vegan cheese and topped with absolutely scrumptious, roasted vegetables. I don't know if the polenta or the vegetables star here. I couldn't quit snatching up the roasted veggies while waiting for the poletna to do it's thing. They're sweet, somewhat caramelized, and pair perfectly with the cheesy polenta. 

This is one of my ultimate polenta dishes! It's so good, it's going to be one of the vegan/vegetarian options at Todd's sister's wedding! Feelin' pretty darn fancy pants about it...in case you hadn't noticed. 

Cheesy Polenta with Roasted Vegetables  

Serves 9

  • Vegetables:
  • 2 small zucchinis, diced
  • 3 small yellow summer squash, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, de-seeded and diced
  • 1/2 sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • drizzle of olive oil 
  • sprinkle of kosher salt
  • sprinkle of ground black pepper
  • Polenta:
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup stone-ground polenta, dry
  • 2 cups vegan cheese, shredded 
  • 1/4 cup large flaked nutritional yeast
  • sprinkle of kosher salt
  • sprinkle of ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 F. Dice the vegetables and scatter them on large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Give them a good shake and a stir. Roast at 450 F for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. When done, remove and set aside. Reduce oven to 350 F.

Bring a large pot with the 4 cups of water to a boil. Give it a sprinkle of salt. Once boiling, slowly add the polenta while stirring continuously for 5 minutes. Then, turn to low heat and stir frequently for about 25 minutes to thicken. Stir in the cheese and nutritional yeast until melted and well combined. Remove from heat.

Coat a 9x9 inch baking dish with a nonstick cooking spray. Pour in the polenta and smooth over the top. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 F. 

Once done baking, add the roasted vegetables on top and bake for an additional 15 minutes at 350 F. 

Remove from oven, season with salt and pepper, and allow to rest for 5 minutes being serving. Serve hot. 

Scrumptious!

My little Bobbledore is now seven years and two days old. Time flies when you have such a great companion! 

German Word of The Day: Polenta --> Maisbrei (pronounced: mice-brye) *EDIT* A German reader informed me that they pretty much use the word Polenta as well! So happy to know the real word usage...it's just polenta peeps. Don't be going around saying maisbrei, okay? 

Good Deed of The Day: Take 5 seconds to sign this petition to outlaw animal crush videos. This is absolutely horrific, monstrous, and one of the cruelest things imaginable. Please sign it.  

Roasted Ratatouille with Polenta

Ratatouille. It's always seemed much too fancy for me to make. Too fussy...and too intimidating.

Boy do I feel like a fool. 

Ratatouille is easy as pie and it's a straight up snazzy way to get in all those great veggies. I made it for a dinner with my dad and his better half and I thought dismally, "Oh surely they'll hate it. I'm sure it's no good." This was of course, before actually tasting it. How good could it be anyway? It's just some veggies and tomato puree, essentially. It all seemed terribly effortless. A fool. Again. 

Produce On Parade - Roasted Ratatouille with PolentaThis ratatouille is simple, delicious and downright lovely. Roasted eggplant, zucchini, yellow summer squash, and red bell pepper all roasted to perfection and perched atop a cheesy, creamy bed of polenta. 

Roasted Ratatouille with Polenta

Inspired by The Comfort of Cooking and theKitchn

Serves 6-8

  • --Ratatouille--
  • 1 11 oz. can of tomato puree
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • sprinkle of ground black pepper, to taste
  • sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 small eggplant, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced thinly
  • 1 yellow summer squash, sliced thinly
  • 1 skinny red bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • --Polenta--
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup of dry polenta
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast

Start by pouring the tomato puree into a medium baking dish. 

Scatter the diced onion and garlic evenly on the bottom of the dish, on top of the puree. Atop that, evenly scatter the herbs, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. 

Produce On Parade - Roasted Ratatouille with PolentaPreheat oven to 375 F. Slice up all the vegetables into very thin disks. 

Produce On Parade - Roasted Ratatouille with Polenta Produce On Parade - Roasted Ratatouille with PolentaThen, starting with two disks of eggplant layer atop that, two disks of zucchini, two of the squash, and followed by one of the bell pepper. When layering, ensure only a small crescent of the bottom vegetable disk is showing.

Repeat until all the vegetables are used up. The vegetables may have to be in stacked lines atop one another and that's okay. It doesn't have to be perfect.

Produce On Parade - Roasted Ratatouille with PolentaDrizzle the veggies with olive oil and a little dried herbs. Cover with a sheet of parchment paper and bake at 375 F for about 50 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling up and the vegetables are cooked. 

Now, for the polenta. Bring the water and salt to boil over high heat. Add in the polenta and whisk vigorously, until it's thickened slightly. Then, turn down to low and cover. Every 10 minutes, stir vigorously scraping along the bottom and sides. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until it's smooth and thick. Remove from heat and stir in the nutritional yeast. 

Serve the ratatouille over the polenta. Drizzle with a little olive oil if you want!

Produce On Parade - Roasted Ratatouille with Polenta Produce On Parade - Roasted Ratatouille with PolentaHead bobbin' to Eliza Doolittle – Skinny GenesRecipe Card

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