18 August 2010

Polenta Vegetable Bake

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, we've been experimenting with vegetarian meals lately. To spice things up a bit, I decided to try a polenta recipe. Eating Well has a great recipe for a Polenta Vegetable Bake. Preparing polenta is a long process, so I used a pre-packged sun-dried tomato and garlic variety. I have to admit that I was very skeptical when I opened the package, as the gooey, gritty texture did not look very appealing. But, I gave it a go anyway, and the result was absolutely delicious. This dish tastes a bit like eggplant parmigiana. Mmmm! My zucchini had gone bad, so I used mushrooms and a bit of sauteed broccoli left over from another meal. I threw those in the pan with the eggplant. I also used dried basil (just a few sprinkles) and tomato sauce instead of a prepared marinara. The dried basil and the garlic in the polenta were enough to season the sauce. Feel free to use cooked frozen spinach (then you can omit the water). I will definitely make this dish again!

Polenta Vegetable Bake 

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce, preferably lower-sodium
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 14 ounces prepared polenta, sliced lengthwise into 6 thin slices
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degree F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, zucchini, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Add water and spinach; cover and cook until wilted, stirring once, about 3 minutes. Stir marinara sauce into the vegetables and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in basil.
  3. Place polenta slices in a single layer in the prepared baking dish, trimming to fit if necessary. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup cheese, top with the eggplant mixture and sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake until bubbling and the cheese has just melted, 12 to 15 minutes. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Susan! You are a girl after my own heart, I love cooking and trying new recipes. We recently used spaghetti squash to replace the noodles in spaghetti and we all liked it. I mightg have to try this polenta recipe...we're always up for something new!