Saturday, February 9, 2013

Soft Polenta with Roasted Vegetables

Are you on Pinterest? Lately I've been feeling rather obsessed. I, like all others that fall into Pinterest's target demographic, love it for the recipes, beautiful pictures, inspiring home and fashion ideas, and crafts. Whenever I start feeling particularly obsessive, though, I just look at the number of items other users have pinned. I'm nowhere near those there, so I breathe a little sigh of relief. 

This recipe is one I pinned. It's originally from the soon-to-be defunct Martha Stewart Whole Living Magazine, which has caught my interest in the past. While I've had varying success making recipes gathered from Pinterest, I loved this one because it was a great way to use up some vegetables I've had lying around for awhile, and it gave me an excuse to make polenta. Polenta is one of those foods that I love, and that's simple to make, yet I continually forget about it and go through long spans of time between making it. I made it on another dark, cold evening, and it proved to be just the thing. 

Soft Polenta with Roasted Vegetables

Adapted from this recipe from Whole Living 


6 baby red potatoes, quartered
2 whole carrots, coarsely sliced into coins or half-moons
2 whole parsnips, peeled and coarsely sliced into coins or half-moons
2 stalks of celery, coarsely sliced
1 C diced butternut squash
* feel free to sub whatever other hearty winter vegetables you have lying around

6 C vegetable broth, divided
1  14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
dried rosemary and thyme leaves, to taste

1 C polenta
1/2 C parmesan cheese
1 oz. softened cream cheese
salt + pepper to taste


Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees. Prep the vegetables and toss all together (minus the tomatoes) with a glug of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place vegetables in a metal roasting pan. (I used a metal 9 x 13 cake pan - just be sure it's something with taller sides that you can transfer to the stovetop later). Roast vegetables 20-30 minutes, until mostly tender, tossing halfway through roasting. 

While the vegetables are roasting, start polenta. In a dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan with a lid, bring 4 C broth to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and slowly whisk in polenta, whisking constantly. Turn heat down to low, cover, and cook 20 minutes.

Once the vegetables are finished roasting, transfer the pan to the stovetop and place over medium-high heat. Sprinkle herbs over vegetables, add drained tomatoes and 2 C broth. Simmer veggies in broth for about 15 minutes, until mixture has thickened slightly and flavors have melded. Season with salt and pepper. 

When the polenta is done, the liquid should be absorbed and the texture should be creamy rather than crunchy. Stir in parmesan cheese and cream cheese, until fully incorporated. 

Spoon polenta into wide, shallow bowls and ladle vegetables and broth over the top. Garnish with additional parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, to taste. 

This recipe makes for good leftovers!

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