I have probably eaten polenta about 3 times in my life, at the most. And I have never cooked with it. I have no idea why this is. Last night, my partner had a go at cooking up this dish and I was surprised at how delicious and creamy it was. This recipe comes from “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Cooking” by Beverly Lynn Bennett and Ray Sammartano. It is heavy on the garlic, which I omitted as I am not a fan and it still tastes great. If you like garlic, go for it!
4 cups of water
1¾ tsp sea salt
1 cup medium-grind or course cornmeal
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
¾ tsp ground black pepper
1 cup onion, cut into half moons (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil (yes, a second batch)
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced (optional)
1 tsp dried basil
1 can cannellini beans
1 bunch or 6 cups of kale and or spinach
½ tsp chili powder
Bring water to boil in a saucepan, over high heat. Add salt and reduce to medium heat. Slowly add cornmeal, whisking constantly to prevent lumps forming. Continue to whisk for a minute or two more until mixture starts to boil again and starts to thicken. Reduce heat to very low. Cover and simmer, stirring every few minutes. Cook for 30 minutes or until thick and starts to pull away from sides of saucepan.
Add 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes, 1 tbsp olive oil and ¼ tsp black pepper. Stir well to combine. Remove from heat.
For the vegetable topping, heat 2 tbsps olive oil in a large pan, over medium heat. If using, sauté onion for approx. 5 minutes. Add garlic (if using) and basil and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add beans and sauté for 1 minute. Add kale/spinach, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes, ¾ tsp salt, chili powder and ½ tsp black pepper. Cook for 2 or 3 more minutes so the spinach/kale wilts. Remove from heat.
Place the cornmeal in a bowl, top with vegetable mixture and serve hot.