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CREAMY POLENTA BOWL WITH SUMMER VEGTABLES AND PESTO

With all of the lovely summer vegetables available this was a simple tasty dish.  It is a replica – sort of, of a recipe I saw somewhere but seem to have lost.  So, it took some ” brain storming” with my not so great memory, some liberty with ingredients and luckily it turned out delicious.  Thank you to whoever came up with this similar recipe, it was delicious! Italian Polenta is always such good comfort food regardless of what the ingredients are.

A word about corn:  Some celiac’s have trouble digesting corn – myself being one of them.  However, I have learned by trial and painful error I can eat corn if it is organic.  And I seem fine with cooked polenta.  Having said this, it is a food I do not eat large amounts of as corn is hard to digest for anyone.  This dish would be lovely with fresh organic corn – something hard to find in my area, so have used organic canned corn in place of.  Homemade fresh pesto is a lovely addition, but a good organic store bought one will do in a pinch.  Also, for a vegetarian dish use vegetable stock.

1 pint organic grape tomatoes

1 cup chopped yellow organic zucchini – slice in rounds 1/8th inch thick then cut into fours

1/2 cup of red onion roughly sliced

1/2 tsp. dried basil

2 Tblsp. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

few good splashes of Balsamic Vinegar

salt and fresh cracked pepper

Heat the oven to 450 degrees.  Toss all of the ingredients into a bowl then transfer to a baking dish.

Roast 20 minutes and remove from the oven and set aside.

Swiss Chard:

2 cups organic swiss chard leaves cut finely into ribbons

5 minced garlic cloves

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 Tblsp. EVOO

salt and pepper to taste

Heat up a saute pan on low/medium heat with the EVOO.  Add the minced garlic to the pan, saute until fragrant – a minute or 2.  Add in the chard and saute for 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, add the fresh lemon juice and continue to saute for 2-3 more minutes.  Remove to heat, and gently combine with the tomato/zucchini mixture.  Place in the oven on the lowest temperature to keep just warm.

Polenta:

1 cup Polenta

4 cups chicken stock

salt – enough added to the stock to taste salty – polenta needs salt

2/3 cup Parmesan cheese

1 tblsp. butter

341 ml or 12 oz. organic canned corn – drain well

Add the chicken stock to a pot and season well with salt.  Bring to a boil and slowly add the polenta whisking well.  Turn down to low on a light simmer.  Frequently stir so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.  This will want to cook for a good 30 minutes, if needed add splashes of water to keep from drying out.  At the 30 min. mark add the drained canned corn stirring well to incorporate, then the Parmesan cheese and butter, again stir well.

Remove from the heat, and plate, then add a big spoon full of the roasted tomato/zucchini/chard on top of the polenta and garnish with pesto.  Serve hot and enjoy!

4 comments to CREAMY POLENTA BOWL WITH SUMMER VEGTABLES AND PESTO

  • What a beautiful summer meal, Ina! I love polenta but don’t eat it often. Therefore, I am always looking for new ways to use it plus my veggie meals sometimes get monotonous so this recipe is much appreciated.

    I’ve had previous doctors tell me that nobody digests corn but I agree that many do pretty well with small amounts of organic corn.

    By the way, even Dr. Fasano, one of the foremost experts on celiac, says that nobody digests gluten fully.

    Shirley

  • Ina

    Thanks Shirley! That is interesting about gluten….I always suspected it was very hard for anyone to digest but to not fully digest it tells me why there are so many other illnesses that are linked to gluten! And yet, in most parts of Europe they do not “meddle” with their wheat’s the way we in North America do and they have far less issues with gluten. My dtr. who is gluten sensitive/lactose intolerant had no problems with gluten or dairy when she was in Paris last year…because they keep everything natural. We could sure learn a thing or two from the Europeans!

  • dear Ina,

    What a lovely polenta dish. I do love polenta and don’t have a problem digesting it. I do use a whole grain organic one.
    Roasting some fresh seasonal vegetables, cooking the polenta, bringing it together makes a very satisfying and easy and quick dish. Just love it! I had tons of basil this hot summer, so made a lot of small batches, which are in the fridge now, for the winter!
    xo Linda

  • Ina

    Thanks Linda! We too love polenta, although have not cooked with it all that much – yet! Wonderful to have so much fresh basil, one of my favorite herbs. :)

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