Sunday, November 18, 2012

Polenta with Grilled Vegetables


Olive oil, to grease
1.5L (6 cups) water
2 chicken stock cubes
220g (11/4 cups) instant polenta (cornmeal)
40g (1/2 cup) finely grated parmesan
20g butter
2 tbs olive oil
30g (1/3 cup) finely grated parmesan, extra

Brush a 16 x 26cm (base measurement) slice pan with oil to lightly grease. Line the base and 2 long sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing the sides to overhang.

Place the water and stock cubes in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Gradually add the polenta in a thin steady stream, whisking constantly, until combined. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 2 minutes or until the mixture thickens and the polenta is soft.

Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan and butter. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight to set.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Line the base of a large roasting pan with non-stick baking paper. Cut the polenta into 12 equal portions. Place, in a single layer, in the lined pan. Drizzle over the oil and sprinkle with the extra parmesan. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve.

Grilled Vegetables

3 red bell peppers, seeded and halved
3 yellow squash (about 1 pound total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
3 zucchini (about 12 ounces total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
3 Japanese eggplant (12 ounces total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
12 cremini mushrooms
1 bunch (1-pound) asparagus, trimmed
12 green onions, roots cut off
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush the vegetables with 1/4 cup of the oil to coat lightly. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper. Working in batches, grill the vegetables until tender and lightly charred all over, about 8 to 10 minutes for the bell peppers; 7 minutes for the yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms; 4 minutes for the asparagus and green onions. Arrange the vegetables on a platter. The key to getting those great grill marks is to not shift the vegetables too frequently once they've been placed on the hot grill.

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, parsley, basil, and rosemary in a small bowl to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the herb mixture over the vegetables. Serve the vegetables, warm or at room temperature 

To Serve

Place polenta on a plate, top with the vegatables and drizzle with a spicy tomato chutney . Crumble Feta cheese over the top and serve hot or cold. 

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