Roasted Summer Veggies with Parmesan Polenta

Roasted Summer Veggies with Parmesan Polenta

Ina Garten’s recipe for parmesan polenta got me over my aversion for all things polenta. I had never been a fan of the gooey textured stuff before, but I had been missing something key: enough butter, cream, and parmesan. That, and the right toppings. This meal brings it all together—a creamy polenta base, which serves a two-part role as sauce and substance; and roasted summer veggies, which benefit from (and compliment) the creaminess of the rest of the dish; pine nuts, which add much-needed crunch. I’ve made it four times in the last month, a testament to how well I’ve been convert from polenta-hater to lover. Maybe it will convert someone you know, too.

Roasted Summer Veggies with Parmesan Polenta
Roasted Summer Veggies with Parmesan Polenta

Roasted Summer Veggies with Parmesan Polenta

Published May 30, 2019 by
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Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 45 minutes



Ingredients:

For Roasted Summer Veggies:
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1-2 small to medium zucchini
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • Salt & Pepper

  • For Parmesan Polenta:
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarsely ground or stone ground cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 heaping cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoon heavy cream (or milk)
  • Ground black pepper to taste

  • For Serving:
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • Garnish: additional shredded Parmesan cheese, additional sprigs of thyme

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Prepare veggies: dice eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes. Slice zucchini into half moons. Slice bell peppers into strips. Slice red onion into wedges.
    2. Place chopped veggies and cherry tomatoes on a sheet pan in a single layer. Use two sheet pans if veggies are over-crowding the pan. Drizzle liberally with oil, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme leaves.
    3. Place veggies in oven and roast for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.
    4. When the veggies have 15 minutes left to cook, begin preparing the polenta. Bring 4 cups of water in a pot to a boil. Add salt and garlic.
    5. When water is boiling, add cornmeal, whisking immediately to prevent clumps from forming. After a few minutes, polenta should begin to thicken. Continue whisking, and remove from heat. Continue stirring almost constantly for about 10 minutes.
    6. Add butter, Parmesan cheese, and cream to polenta, stirring to incorporate. Polenta should become thick and creamy, and will continue to set as it cools. Season to taste with pepper.
    7. Serve: scoop polenta into serving bowls, and top with roasted veggies. Sprinkle with pine nuts and parmesan and a garnish with a sprig of thyme. Serve hot.

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    Instant Pot Tom Yum Soup

    Instant Pot Tom Yum Soup

    This is an older recipe from Foraged Dish. I wanted to give it a little update, so here it is! 

    There is a Thai restaurant in Estes Park, which we drive by after visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. After a long day outside, when it's starting to get a bit chilly, nothing is better than a stop at that restaurant for a cozy Thai soup or spicy curry. 

    Tom Yum soup is also the ultimate soup when you're sick. It's brothy, with chicken and veggies, and scented with lemongrass and ginger. This version is an Instant Pot recipe -- easy is key when you're not feeling your best. 

    Instant Pot Tom Yum Soup

    Some typical Thai ingredients can be hard to find here in the states! Here's where to look and what to do if you can't find it: 

    You can find lemongrass in the herb section of some grocery stores, at a local Asian Market, or online. Use it while it's fresh! The Asian Market near me sells it in sets of two stalks. This recipe only calls for one, but I try to use the second one for another batch of soup within a week because I find that as soon as the lemongrass dries out it loses it's flavor. I've had poor success in freezing it, unfortunately. (Anyone have tips?) 

    In this recipe, I call for ginger and not galangal. Most Tom Yum recipes call for both, but galangal is another ingredient that can be hard to get your hands on. If you do go to an Asian Market, look there and use half galangal, half ginger in the recipe. Otherwise, don't worry about it for one minute -- the favor of ginger is very similar to galangal (galangal is just a bit more mild), so using all ginger is just fine!

    Kaffir lime is in a lot of Thai recipes but I don't include it in the instructions below at all because I've found it's nearly impossible to buy in the states! (That said, it has an amazing aroma, so if you can find it, add 3 leaves to the pot before closing it up, and then remove them before serving). It's also very hard to buy kaffir lime seeds in the United States, but I would love to grow one! I have seen a few companies that will ship a grafted plant, so I might try it. 

    Last but not least: fish sauce isn’t for everyone (but you can usually find it in the Asian section of your grocery store). If you're not that into it, use Worcestershire sauce instead (it's ok, I have my own trepidations). It's not quite the same, but it will provide some of that Unami flavor that rounds out the broth. 

    Phew! Thai food is an adventure on it's own! But don't let that stop you -- this soup is delicious, nourishing, and cozy. And this version has been adapted to make it a bit more approachable. Enjoy! 

    Instant Pot Tom Yum Soup

    Instant Pot Tom Yum Soup

    Published December 11, 2018 by
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    Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 15 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons ginger, finely minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced or quartered
  • 1/2 pound boneless chicken breast
  • 3 green onions, white and dark green parts removed, then sliced
  • 2-5 minced Thai chili peppers, depending on spice preference
  • 8 cups chicken or bone broth
  • 1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1/8 teaspoon fish sauce
  • Optional for serving: chili oil, cilantro, lime wedges

  • Directions:

    1. Heat coconut oil in the bottom of an Instant Pot on the “Sauté” setting. When oil is melted, add diced onion, and minced garlic and ginger. Sauté until onions are translucent.
    2. Add diced carrots, diced zucchini, sliced mushrooms, chicken breasts, green onions, Thai chili peppers, broth, coconut milk, lime juice, stalk of lemongrass, and fish sauce.
    3. Place lid on Instant Pot and turn to “Soup” setting with timer set to one minute. Turn vent to sealed position.
    4. When timer goes off, release the pressure through the vent. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, pull chicken from soup and use two forks to shred it into bite-sized pieces. Place shredded chicken back in soup and stir. Remove lemongrass stalks (you can use them as garnish, but they are not great for just eating -- they just add flavor to the broth).
    5. Serve hot with additional chili oil, cilantro, lime, or hot sauce (such as Sriracha).

    9 Comments

    Layered Summer Ratatouille

    Summery Ratatouille

    Continuing with the theme of recipes that use up all of your summer produce: Ratatouille! 

    Admittedly my garden has been very slow to produce this year probably due to the hailstorm in mid-June, but I’m guessing most of you don’t have that problem, so you’ll be able to make use of this recipe soon!

    Is there a more beautiful way to display summer produce than a ratatouille? An array of color, layers of vegetables. And it's really quite simple to make, easier than pie! Easier than it looks — that’s for sure. 

    So what is ratatouille? There are two different versions: one where all the vegetables are stewed together, and this one, where delicate rounds of tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, and eggplant are arranged over an herby tomato sauce. That’s it! From there you can customize: add protein to the sauce, top with fresh cheese or herbs, you name it.

    Summery Ratatouille
    Summery Ratatouille

    I served this version over Ina Garten's Parmesan polenta and OMG... I don’t think I’ve ever had such delicious polenta. I wouldn’t call it healthy or anything of that nature. But it is soooo good! And goes perfectly well with this ratatouille, rounding out the meal.

    Can you believe it’s August already? Where has the time gone?! 

    Summery Ratatouille

    Layered Summer Ratatouille

    Published August 2, 2018 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 70 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 skinny eggplant
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 1 bell pepper, any color
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil, or 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • For serving: minced fresh basil, shredded parmesan.
  • Optional: if you would like to add protein to this recipe, 1 cup of cooked hot Italian sausage crumbles.

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
    2. In the bottom of a 9x9inch baking dish, spread the tomato paste in an even layer. Sprinkle with onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, and basil. If you are using the sausage, spread crumbles over tomato paste layer at this time.
    3. Slice the zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, and bell pepper into thin rounds. Arrange the rounds in overlapping rows over the tomato paste layer. Brush with oil, and then season with salt & pepper.
    4. Bake for 50 minutes, until veggies are softened through an golden on the edges. Top with minced fresh bail and shredded parmesan. Serve hot.

    6 Comments