Monday, August 4, 2008

Vegetable Polenta Stacks

Yay, I finally uploaded my photos from dinner!!!

I made Vegetable Polenta Stacks for dinner last night (recipe below). The recipe was just okay, but maybe it's because I didn't know what to expect-- I've never tried polenta before. I can see the potential for liking polenta quite a lot, but perhaps just not in stack form. I think the "slabs" of polenta kind of weirded me out, especially knowing that it's usually eaten in mush form.

And here's how I made the Vegetable Polenta Stacks...

I boiled and added fresh basil to Bob's Red Mill Medium Grind Cornmeal for the poleta.

After cooking on the stovetop for 10 minutes, I coated a baking sheet with cooking spray and spread out the cornmeal with a spatula, making it nice and flat, then refrigerated it for 45 minutes.

Once the polenta was chilled, I cut it into 12 squares, which I then layered with zucchini, tomato slices, cheddar cheese, basil, and topped with marinara sauce. 

For my lunch tomorrow, I mashed up the leftover polenta with veggies, cheddar cheese, and marinara sauce, so hopefully, I will like it better mushy. 

My evening snack was 2 PB-Pumpkin muffins and a few peanut butter and chocolate chips. Eating them together in the same bite was delightful! :)

Vegetable Polenta Stacks
Shape, August, 2008 by Wendy Hess

Serves 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 70 minutes

3 cups water
1 1/2 cups finely ground cornmeal
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Cooking spray
1 large zucchini, sliced diagonally
1 large tomato, very thinly sliced
3/4 cup shreddeda part-skim mozzarell
1 cup jarred marinara sauce Fresh basil or rosemary for garnish
* Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan and add cornmeal.
Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
Mix in basil and rosemary.
* Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread out cornmeal to
1/4-inch thickness with spatula. Refrigerate 45 minutes, then cut
into 12 squares.
* Place one square of polenta on a small plate. Top with a few slices
of zucchini, tomato, and 1 tbsp. mozzarella. Repeat layering once,
then top with third polenta square and 1 tbsp. cheese. Repeat process
for 3 more servings, using up all of the vegetables.
* Heat marinara sauce on low in a small saucepan. Place polenta
stacks, one at a time, in microwave for about 2 minutes, or until
cheese has melted. To serve, spoon 1/4 cup marinara over and around
each heated polenta stack. Garnish with herbs if desired.
Nutrition score per serving (1 stack plus 1/4 cup sauce): 301
calories, 7 g fat (21% of calories), 3 g saturated fat, 50 g
carbs, 10 g protein, 3 g fiber, 167 mg calcium, 3 mg iron, 456 mg sodium
* TIP: This dish takes just 15 minutes to prepare if you make the polenta a day ahead of time.


Erica said...

Silly blogger! I'm having the same issues! I have made a few recipes with Polenta...its OK. My husband really liked it but I just thought it was meh...

Natalie said...

Where do you buy dates? I was looking up some date recipes and read they are quite expensive.

Do you find them filling as a snack? Or are they more like eating chocolate or candy? (I am thinking I could get addicted and eat too many)

Catherine said...

Sorry to hear about the polenta! I love it. I'm surprised your recipe didn't suggest you panfry and/or broil your polenta squares before stacking! That makes them crispy-delicious, and quite irresistable! I love polenta cut up into little sticks, brushed with oil, and broiled to make "fries!" Dipped it ketchup, they taste kind of like corn dogs, but with no "dog" in the middle. YUM!

VeggieGirl said...

Ahh, too bad - polenta is awesome!

meg said...

I love polenta, especially when it is mushy. I add a little sweetener to it when I make it. I don't know if that would help the taste for you or not.

Anonymous said...

There's polenta nad there's polenta. What brand and form of it were you using? Ready-formed? From scratch? The latter is far superior. And quite easy.

Try making it up to a moist, corn-brad consistency, then lightly grilling wedges of it. Combine these with any number of ingredients--there's a thousand things you could do with it--and I guarantee you'll experience a new-found (and delicious) appreciation for polenta. --David

Anonymous said...

I love polenta so I thought I would try to look for some similar recipes to the ways I have eaten it. Here are two from cooking light which look promising:

Anonymous said...

oh bummer, the links didnt work-here are the names to search for @

Italian Eggs over Spinach and Polenta

Creamy Polenta with Warm Tomato Compote

C said...

I also love polenta, but I like it creamy like grits. I especially like it with roasted broccoli and marinara sauce.

Tina said...


Thanks for your polenta suggestions! I can see how it could be very delicious-- I think I need to give it another try! I especially like the fried idea! :)


I buy dates from Stop & Shop (Dole brand) or from Trader Joe's (medjool).

I don't think dates are that filling by themselves. I'll often eat them with something-- oatmeal, nuts or with peanut butter and bread as a sandwich. They're one of my favorite foods!

Caitlin said...

i have to admit, i only like polenta that comes in the "tubes" from the refrigerator section, and i only like it warm! cold polenta doesn't sound very appealing, but your vegetable stacks photographed nicely!! so pretty!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with everyone- hot polenta "cakes" golden brown from the grill or broiler makes them awesome. Cold and slabby? Kinda of weird.

LOVE your dessert.

Quinn said...

Well, it definitely looks amazing. I've made Kath's Mexican Polenta Casserole three times now, and it's really tasty. Give it a try. It will not disappoint.

SH said...

I love your little bowl! I am going to try making those muffins next week - they look very tasty. I love muffins as a snack.