20 March 2013

Maggie's Vegetable Ragout over Polenta

A few weeks ago we were at the grocery store when Shana saw a tube of pre-made polenta and decided she wanted to eat it. In to the cart it went and off went my head, racing to think about what I would make. Since we don't eat polenta regularly, I did what anyone would do, asked google. Google told me that most people use polenta like pasta, covering it with tomato sauce and cheese. That didn't sound quite right to me, not just because of the cheese. Honestly, it just sounded boring. Commence creative googling.

Finally, with germs of ideas of a number of places, I punted. Luckily, my imagination led me to a delicious dish. We tried it the week we bought the polenta, but I wanted to test it one more time before I posted it here. When we wandered past some polenta at Jungle Jim's last weekend, I figured it was time to try again. Tonight was the night. The second time around was just as good as the first! Plus, since I knew what I was doing, I also realized that this is an incredibly speedy dinner, going from the fridge to the table in less than 30 minutes. 


Maggie's Vegetable Ragout over Polenta
Ingredients
1 tube pre-made firm polenta, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1, 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 c. water
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8-1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 eggplant, 3/4 inch pieces
2 peppers, large chop
1 large onion, large chop
3 cloves (or to taste) garlic, sliced thin

Directions
Turn oven to broil
1. Lay polenta slices on a silicone baking sheet or non-stick foil, spray/brush lightly with oil. Pop in the oven with the shelf on the highest rack.
Still cold, but close to the heat
2. Put tomato sauce, water, black pepper, red pepper, and Italian seasoning in a small sauce pot and heat over medium heat.
3. Saute onions in a bit of oil over med-high heat in a large skillet. When they are about halfway done, add the slices of garlic, saute a minute or two more. Add peppers to onion/garlic, cook for 3ish minutes, then add eggplant, cook for 3ish minutes. 
Just added the eggplant
4. Slowly add the sauce to the veggies (it will likely splatter if you go too fast) and cook all together for another 4-5 minutes. The sauce with thicken some. 
5. Take the polenta out of the oven, serve smothered in the veggies. 

Helpful Hints
  • I've used plain polenta and sundried tomato & garlic polenta, they are both delicious. 
  • If you'd like to increase the protein content of this dinner, cook one 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans in the tomato sauce. The texture of the garbanzo beans will also add to the dish. 
  • Use any color pepper you'd like. Tonight I used one red and one yellow, but used green the first time. 
  • Feel free to sub in any other veggies, just be careful about cooking times. This seems summery to me, so zucchini or yellow squash might be a delicious addition or substitution. 
  • This is a gluten-free and soy-free meal. If you have friends who are gluten-free, this would work for a small dinner party if you served it with a fresh salad. 

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