I don’t remember ever eating polenta growing up. It’s a food that I’ve recently become acquainted with in my kitchen. I’ve been exploring different way of cooking it and this recipe has become one of my favorites.
Polenta is a porridge made of cornmeal and, depending on it’s coarseness, has a creamy consistency. It’s cooked up on the stove top similar to how you would oatmeal. I prefer mine to have a super thick consistency and like it even better the next day when the flavors have mingled and it’s thick enough to cut with a knife.
It’s also relatively nutritious and inexpensive and has historically served as a staple food for the poor. My local grocery store had it in bulk as well as precooked in the refrigerated section but I ended up buying a small prepackaged bag of Golden Pheasant.
The basic ratio for polenta is 4 parts liquid to 1 part polenta. For this recipe I used 3 cups soy milk and 1 cup vegetable broth to 1 cup polenta. Add the liquids to a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a boil before adding polenta. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook for about 25 minutes, stirring constantly, until desired thickness is reached. Stir in a tablespoon of vegan butter and season with salt and pepper before serving. Nutritional yeast is optional but highly recommended for additional cheesy flavor.
Preheat oven to 400° and cut tomatoes and mushrooms (shiitake and chanterelle both worked nicely) while the polenta is cooking on the stove top. Toss into a bowl with olive oil and Italian seasoning. Spread onto a a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone baking mat and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender.
To serve, add a liberal scoop of polenta to each bowl and top with tomatoes, mushrooms, chopped basil, and red chili flakes for a little heat. Enjoy!
- 1. Preheat oven to 400°
- 2. Toss halved tomatoes and sliced mushrooms with olive oil and Italian seasoning in a large bowl.
- 3. Spread into a single layer on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until cherry tomatoes are tender.
- 4. Bring soy milk and veggie broth to a boil, stir in corn meal, and reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to cook for 25 minutes, stirring frequently until polenta thickens to a desired consistency.
- 5. Stir in vegan butter and nutritional yeast, season with salt and pepper.
- 6. Serve by scooping a liberal portion of polenta into each bowl. Top with tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, and red chili flakes.