I made my own polenta rather than going for the instant stuff (and definitely not the premade stuff). The veggies were pretty basic, and the sauce was SPECTACULAR. I will totally use that again...for pasta sauce, sandwich spread, whatever!
This recipe served the three of us. I'm going to break it down into its three parts.
3 cups stock or water
1 tsp butter
1 cup coarse cornmeal (I used medium grind because that's what I had, and it worked fine)
2/3 cup grated parmesan (divided in 2)
Dash of cayenne
In a saucepan, bring stock or water to boil. Add butter and allow to melt. Slowly pour in cornmeal, whisking to keep it from clumping together. Turn heat down to low, cover, and stir every couple of minutes to keep it from clumping or burning to the bottom of the pan. This will take about 35 minutes to thicken. Stir in 1/3 cup parmesan and the cayenne, and taste for seasoning. If you're using water, you may need to add salt.
Pour into a lightly creased cast iron skillet, or 9" pie pan, and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.
Once the veggies (the next step) come out, top the cooled polenta with the final 1/3 cup parmesan and place under broiler about 15 minutes or until top is golden brown.
If you like your polenta loose, serve it up immediately. If you like it a little more like a cake, let it sit 20 minutes or so to set.
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
1 tblsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tblsp chopped fresh thyme
10 small asparagus stalks, ends trimmed
4 green onions, trimmed
2 small Chinese eggplants, cut into 1/3" half circles
1 small yellow squash or zucchini, cut into 1/3" half circles
10 cherry tomatoes
Preheat broiler and set the rack to about 6" from the top. Line baking sheet with foil.
Mix the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add the vegetables and toss to coat. Arrange on baking sheet in one layer and pop into oven for 5-10 minutes (or more) until you start to see colour on the vegetables.
Flip the veggies and roast for an additional 5-10 minutes, remove from oven and let cool.
(At this point you'd toss the polenta into the oven)
1 jar of roasted red peppers, drained
1/3 cup broth
1 large clove garlic
A few leaves of fresh basil
1 tblsp balsamic vinegar
Throw all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend up. My red peppers had bonus!garlic so I threw those in, as well as the raw garlic. I love garlic!
Putting it Together
Top a slice of polenta with some roasted veggies and smother with sauce. I garnished with a bit more fresh basil and a few black olives.