Polenta is one of my favorite side dishes. When I cook a recipe with polenta, it feels like fading away to the south, eating in a restaurant next to the sea, a lovely dish with a Mediterranean twist. Right? What about a polenta gratin with roasted vegetables and lots of herbs? The Chef’s Handyman team loves the dish and has moved the recipe to their favorites list as well. What about you?
Polenta Gratin with oven roasted vegetables and tomatoes
To make the vegetables, place the sweet peppers and the cherry tomatoes into an oven-save gratin form. Season the pieces with sea salt and black pepper and then sprinkle them with olive oil. Roast the veggies and tomatoes in the oven at 200°C or 400°F for 20 to 30 minutes. The vegetables can also be prepared in advance.
For the polenta, pour 600 ml or 2.5 cups of soy milk or milk and 600 g or 2.5 cups of vegetable stock into a large pan. Add 1 tbsp. of garlic powder, 1 tbsp. of chili flakes, 2 laurel leaves and lemon rind. Cook the mixture on medium heat. When hot, remove the pan from the heat. Add 250 g or 8 oz. of polenta (medium grated). Stir continuously until the polenta is soaked and soft. (Check the instructions on the wrapping). For the vegetarian version, mix 2-3 egg yolks with 150 g or 5 oz. of grated parmesan. Spoon the mixture into the polenta. Season the polenta with nutmeg, salt and black pepper. Beat the egg white until stiff. Fold the stiff egg white in. Place the mixture into an oven save form. Apply first the bottom and the border of the form with olive oil. Garnish with the vegetables, the tomatoes and the herbs. Apply parmesan flakes on top. Bake the gratin in the oven at 200°C or 400°F for 20-30 minutes. Serve the polenta with green salad.
Chef’s Handyman tip for the vegan version: Substitute the eggs for 3 egg replacements. The parmesan with 1 cup of roasted bread cubes. Chop the cubes, combine the m with herbs, garlic and chili. Place the crumbs on top of the polenta, then add the vegetables and the tomatoes. Sprinkle with herbs and olive oil. Bake in oven as mentioned above.
Shopping list for one polenta gratin with roasted vegetables for 4 serves as main menu: 600 ml or 2.5 cups milk or soy milk, 600 ml or 2.5 cups vegetable stock, 1 tbsp. garlic powder or fresh garlic, 1 tbsp. chili flakes or 1 fresh chili, 2 laurel leaves, 1 lemon, 250 g or 8 oz. polenta semolina, for the vegetarian version, 3 eggs, 150 g or. 5 oz. parmesan, 50 g or 2 oz. parmesan flakes, for the vegan version, 3 x egg replacement, 1 cup roasted bread cubes, 1 bunch parsley, nutmeg, salt, olive oil, 12 small sweet peppers or 4 standard versions, 200 g or 7 oz. cherry tomatoes, 1 bunch sage, 1 bunch thyme.
Bon appetite, your Chef’s Handyman team.