Wednesday, May 4, 2011

{tasty} Grilled Polenta w/Roasted Veggies

If I have zucchini and bell pepper on hand, chances are I am going to chop them up and roast them.

When I roast vegetables I will want to flavor them further with balsamic vinegar, because its just the right thing to do. 

And chances are if I have a lovely, delicious, bright, colorful vegetarian dish like this I will have to add Italian sausage, because I can't leave well enough alone. 

Ok Ok, Enough with the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie throwback...

There are a lot of steps to this recipe, but luckily they are all rather simple. I love the flavors of this dish, I may be a little obsessed with balsamic vinegar. Can you blame me?

  • ½ cup ground cornmeal
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp salt

Balsamic Veggies & Sausage
  • ½ pound Italian Sausage
  • 1 zucchini, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and  coarsely chopped
  • 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • ½ can artichoke hearts
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 6 sun dried tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt, divided

You will want to make the Polenta ahead of time so it has time to firm up before slicing and grilling.

In a medium sauce pan bring broth, milk, and bay leaf to a low boil. Slowly add in cornmeal while whisking to avoid clumping. Turn heat to low and cook about 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from heat and add salt and Parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes, then dallop it all down onto a large piece of plastic wrap and roll back and forth forming a log. If you want to simplify it a little more you could easily mold it into a lined loaf pan. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Combine zucchini, eggplant, onion and bell pepper on a lined baking sheet and toss with 2tsp olive oil, vinegar and ¾ tsp salt. Roast for about 15 minutes; toss and continue roasting until nicely browned, about 30 minutes more.

While the veggies are roasting, combine tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, 1 tsp olive oil, garlic, remaining salt, parsley and basil in a bowl; toss to coat. Set aside and let all those wonderful flavors marry in to each other. 

Remove the Polenta from plastic wrap and slice into ½ inch slices. Cook on a greased grill pan on medium high heat for about 3-5 minutes per side.
While polenta is cooking brown the sausage in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Once browned add the roasted veggies and cook for about 2 minutes longer. Turn off heat and add the tomato mixture; toss well. Serve over polenta. 

Serves 4. *Adapted from Weight Watchers*

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