Friday, August 1, 2008

Polenta with Chunky Tomato Sauce and 'Pecorino Romano'

To compliment my sweet polenta cake from the other night, here's one option for serving it as a dinner. Polenta is a great vegan staple because it's filling with about 9 grams of protein per serving. Try this recipe tonight, and experiment with other toppings for another night.

To make the polenta, place 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal in a saucepan. Gradually add 3 cups water, stirring with a whisk constantly. Add 1/4 tsp. salt.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook 15 minutes, stirring frequently - the more you stir, the less it splatters! Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup grated 'pecorino romano' cheese - I used the vegan Mozzarella block from Galaxy Foods.

Pour into an 8x8 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, spreading so that it is even and the surface is flat. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, until firm. (Note: you can leave it to chill as long as overnight, if you want to speed up preparation on the night that you make this).

To prepare the topping, combine 1 and 1/4 cup chopped tomato, 2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallot, one and a half tablespoons thinly sliced basil, 1/2 tsp. dried marjoram (use about 3/4 tsp. fresh if you prefer), 1/2 tsp. olive oil, 1/4 tsp. salt and a dash of black pepper. Set aside.

Heat a grill or grill pan coated with cooking spray over the stove over medium heat. Using a 2-and-a-half-inch round cookie cutter, cut six rounds into the polenta (you'll have a bit of leftover, that you can either discard or reserve for another use). Grill the polenta for five minutes on each side until golden brown.

On each of three plates, arrange 2 polenta rounds and 1/2 a cup of the tomato mixture. Sprinkle the servings evenly with an additional two tablespoons of grated 'cheese'. Each serving is 260 calories. This makes a great al fresco summer dinner!

tomato $1.92
shallots $0.20
basil $2.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance