Polenta with Grilled Vegetables

polenta with grilled veggies

I cooked with polenta for the first time and thought that the dish turned out pretty decent. The texture & flavor of the cooked polenta itself was very similar to a dish that is prepared in India with fine semolina. This is a simple recipe with minimum ingredients, but when you put all the flavors together – its tastes pretty dynamic.

I flavored the polenta with butter and garlic while cooking and added cream and cheese once it was cooked. The polenta tastes pretty smooth and creamy by itself  complimented with a hint of garlic, but after adding the grilled vegetables it became a hearty dish.

I grilled some of my favorite vegetable – but feel free to pick the ones you like the most. I cooked the vegetables in separate batches in a saute pan but you can also use an electric grill – it will give you pretty grill marks!

Don’t roast vegetables in the oven because that will take the moisture out of them and we need the veggies to be juicy for this recipe. I also fried some onions till they became dark and crispy and topped the dish with them. It added a nice crunch and looked very pretty. Just before serving drizzle a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to flavor the veggies. I also added some fresh arugula – it adds to the recipe with its pepper-ish flavor and visually peps up the whole dish, not to mention adds nutrition. Sub arugula with spring mix (salad mix) or any other dark leafy green.

polenta

polenta

polenta

Serving for 2 people

cooking time 30 minutes

Things you will need:

Polenta

1/2 cup instant polenta, plain

2 cups water

½ tsp salt

½ cup parmesan, grated

2 tsps butter

1 tsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp cream

  1. Heat a deep saucepan on medium low, add butter and olive oil.
  2. Once the butter melts, add garlic and sauté for 20 seconds.
  3. Add water and salt and bring the water to a simmer.
  4. Add polenta slowly while whisking the mixture with the help of a whisk. You don’t want your mixture to get lumpy.
  5. Once the polenta is mixed with the water mixture, cook on low for a few minutes till the polenta grains become soft.
  6. Turn the heat off, add parmesan and cream and mix lightly till the cheese melts. Polenta is ready.

Grilled Vegetables

eggplant

zucchini

red bell pepper

mushroom

handful of arugula

¼ cup EVOO

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp sugar

  1. Cut vegetables into desired shape.
  2. Heat up some oil in a saute pan over medium heat.
  3. Add veggies in separate batches and cook one one side till they turn golden brown. Flip and cook from the other side. Don’t crowd veggies in the pan, otherwise they will turn mushy – you want the veggies to retain their shape.
  4. In a bowl mix together EVOO, balsamic vinegar, salt, sugar and mix till combined well.

To serve – place some cooked polenta in a bowl. Place veggies on it, tear arugula into bite size pieces and sprinkle on top. Drizzle  balsamic vinegar mixture generously and serve.