Polenta is an excellent base for all kinds of foods, but particularly rich, savory flavors. I’ve paired it with short ribs and beef stews, but it wasn’t until I faced a glut of soon-to-be-expiring farmer’s market veggies in my crisper drawer that it occurred to me to roast them and serve over a base of polenta. But would it be flavorful enough?
The trick: pesto.
Layering a drizzle of pesto over the top of the polenta adds color, flavor and all-around excellence to the meal. Because really, what isn’t made better with a blend of basil and garlic?
- Veggies for roasting: zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers, onions, carrots, mushrooms
- Diced tomatoes (I prefer mine raw vs. roasted; you may prefer roasting)
- Grapeseed or other heat-tolerant oil
- Freshly grated parmegiano reggiano
Preheat broiler or grill.
Slice veggies, toss with oil and arrange on a baking sheet or grilling basket. Roast or grill, turning occasionally, until vegetables are softened and browning at the edges, about 7-10 minutes.
Arrange a bed of polenta on the center of the plate. Add a dollop of pesto. Add vegetables. Garnish with a dusting of parmesan.
I deliberately grilled the vegetables separately so we could pick and choose the ones we liked. The Tiny Kitchen Assistant selected only the diced tomatoes, and when he finished with those he asked for another whole tomato for himself.
This was a great alternative to pasta, giving me that same neutral base but without the carb overload. Thumbs up from the entire family.