Grilled Polenta Cakes with Ratatouille

Today’s recipe comes to you courtesy of my little pocket of backlog posts that I haven’t gotten around to posting yet.

Luckily, it still fits with my theme of local produce, as the capsicums and zucchini I used were sourced from the local market in Gympie, as was the basil. The tomatoes could maybe be included – they were locally sourced from a bin at the Gympie Muster site. Well, they weren’t yet in the bin, but they were left in boxes by a bin. I can’t verify their location before that, but we saved them from a sad fate of decomposing at a rubbish dump.

I really love polenta, it’s so creamy and versatile. I find it to be filling, without being too heavy either. I haven’t had it in ages, and just got a hankering for it, so I whipped this baby up. We had enough to feed us a few times over too, so we happily munched on leftovers the next day.

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Grilled Polenta Cakes with Ratatouille
(serves about 6)

Polenta

1 ½ cups polenta
4 cups water
1 veg stock cube
1 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp fresh basil, torn
2 Tbsp olive oil (I used basil infused) (or non-dairy spread) + 1 Tbsp extra for grilling
¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
¼ cup non-dairy milk (optional extra creaminess – may need more water in the beginning though if not using)
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring water and stock cube to a boil in a medium to large pot. Once boiling, slowly pour in the polenta, whisking as you go. Whisk continuously for a couple of minutes until the polenta starts to thicken and bubble. Be very careful as one has been known to be burnt by spitting polenta.

At this stage you may like to change to a wooden spoon or spatula. Turn the polenta down to low and continue stirring, making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Add thyme, basil, oil, yeast flakes and non dairy milk and stir to combine. Continue to stir for about ten minutes. The polenta should be becoming less grainy, and firm enough that it comes away from the edges of the pot when you stir it. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Turn off heat and spread polenta into a greased or lined 11×7 inch (28x17cm) baking pan and put in the fridge to set.

Once firm, cut polenta into pieces. Brush a cast iron grill skillet with oil and heat over medium-high heat. You can do this on a barbecue grill, or simply shallow fry it in a pan if you’d prefer…I’m simply utilising what I’ve got. Cook cakes until a bit golden, and charred grill lines appear. Flip and do the other side. Serve with ratatouille (recipe below).

Ratatouille

1 medium eggplant, diced 1 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 red capsicum, diced
1 green capsicum, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
6 tomatoes, diced
¼ cup basil, roughly torn
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add garlic and thyme and saute for another minute, until fragrant.

Add the eggplant and saute for about five minutes, until it is beginning to feel tender.

Add the capsicum and zucchini and saute for another minute, before adding tomatoes and basil. Stir to combine, then reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the tomatoes to break down a bit, and all the veggies to be nice and tender.

Add lemon juice and stir through, season to taste.

Serve warm over grilled polenta (or whatever you want! – Stir through pasta, eat on top of quinoa, top a leafy salad with it…anything goes).

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veganmofo

15 thoughts on “Grilled Polenta Cakes with Ratatouille

  1. Mmmmm, speaking of ratatouille, I had pisto empanadillas with that filling, and that reminds me to go back there again! What a lovely dish filled with colors plus that polenta looks so good!

  2. I made ratatouille for TV Tuesday in honor of the movie and my hero, Remy. I wanted to serve it on polenta, but couldn’t find it. Had to use pasta instead, boo. I love ratatouille this time of year.

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