A warm bowl of creamy polenta is about as comforting as it gets, which makes it a great foundation for a meatless meal. To make the polenta ahead of time, follow the method in the recipe, using only 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) water, then pour the cooked polenta into a baking dish and let set in the refrigerator. Just before serving, simply rewarm the polenta in the oven, or cut it into triangles, brush with olive oil and warm in a grill pan or fry pan.
Cheesy Polenta with Roasted Vegetables
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) polenta
- 3/4 lb. (375 g) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) brussels sprouts, halved
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g) shredded fontina cheese
- 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
- Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
Preheat an oven to 450°F (230°C).
In a large pot over high heat, bring 5 cups (40 fl. oz./1.25 l) of water and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil. Stir in the polenta and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the polenta is soft and smooth, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, pile the squash and brussels sprouts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season well with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Spread the vegetables into a single layer and roast, stirring once about halfway through, until fork-tender and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside while you finish the polenta.
Once the polenta is soft, stir in the butter and cheeses until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the polenta into bowls, top with the roasted vegetables and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Find ways to make hectic suppers into fun, relaxed gatherings that the whole family can enjoy in our cookbook School Night, by Kate McMillan.