Roasted Ratatouille with Polenta

Serves 6 Beginner
  • 1½ pounds zucchini (6 to 8 inches long), ends trimmed and 1-inch-diced
  • 1 pound eggplant, unpeeled and 1-inch-diced
  • 1 Holland red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and 1-inch-diced
  • 1 Holland yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and 1-inch-diced
  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • ½ cup good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 15 cherry, grape, or small pear tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup julienned fresh basil leaves
  • Creamy Parmesan Polenta (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Place the zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, onion, garlic, oregano, olive oil, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons black pepper in a large bowl and toss to combine. Pour the vegetables onto two sheet pans (if you put them on one pan, they will steam instead of roast!). Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and begin to brown

Lower the oven to 425 degrees, add the tomatoes to the pans, and roast for another 12 to 15 minutes, until the tomatoes are tender. Add the basil and toss. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot over the polenta.

Creamy Parmesan Polenta (Serves 6-7)

  • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1½ cups stone-ground whole-grain cornmeal
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese
  • 6 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced

Combine the chicken stock and garlic in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and very slowly add the cornmeal, whisking constantly to make sure there are no lumps. Switch to a wooden spoon, add 1½ tablespoons salt and 2 teaspoons pepper, and simmer over very low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring almost constantly, until thick. (The timing will depend on the cornmeal that you choose.) Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan thoroughly while you’re stirring. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, crème fraîche, and butter. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

Copyright 2016, Cooking for Jeffrey, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

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