Friday, July 29, 2011

Polenta Pie with Roasted Vegetables

My very good friend Lily is incredibly smart. In fact, she is currently taking the bar exam, which I'm sure she will ace after three successful years of law school. In addition to being smart and motivated and all that, Lily is also a great cook. Clearly more interesting than her law skills in my opinion and, fortunately for us foodies, also something she finds worth exploring and expanding even in the midst of studying for said bar exam. So while most law students hunker down and don't leave the library until the bar exam is over, Lily decided to start a food blog, appropriately named Bar Food. So while she was presumably doing a lot of studying, she was also exploring a whole list of food tasks that she's been meaning to tackle. One should eat while studying anyway so why not make it an enjoyable learning experience at the same time? Seems reasonable to me and the result is a very funny blog full of good food tips and fun recipe ideas.
Lily and I often talk about food and different things we like to make or want to try making. One food we've discussed often is the delightful dish of polenta. It's so versatile and easy and absolutely delicious. A recent recipe on her blog was for a vegetable pie with a polenta crust, something that both looked delicious and fit into my need for gluten free delights. So I decided I had to make it using up all of the delicious produce available at the farmers' market. Our versions are slightly different based on what we each had available. But give it a try with whatever you have on hand. It's easy to make and tastes amazing. I only wish I had had some goat cheese to melt on the top like she time!
Polenta Pie with Roasted Vegetables
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large zucchini and 1 yellow squash, sliced into thin half moons
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp + olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 3 cups water or vegetable/chicken stock
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 450*F.
Toss onions, zucchini, squash, eggplant and tomatoes with enough olive oil to lightly coat and season well with salt and pepper.
Arrange vegetables in an even layer on a large baking sheet.
In a small saucepan, bring stock to a boil with a pinch of salt.
Turn heat to low and slowly pour in polenta, stirring thoroughly to avoid any lumps.
Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for about 5-8 minutes, until polenta is thick.
Spread cooked polenta into a lightly greased (vegetable spray works) pie pan, making it as even as possible.
Put both the vegetables and the polenta pie into the oven and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are tender and the polenta begins to get golden on the edges.
Meanwhile, mix together eggs, milk and Parmesan cheese. Season with black pepper.
Remove polenta and vegetables and layer as many of the vegetables into the polenta pie as you can fit, pressing down the polenta as you go.
Turn the oven down to 375*F.
Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables, pressing with the back of a spoon to get it to soak in.
Place the veggie pie back into the oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until the eggs are set.
Garnish with fresh basil and more Parmesan cheese.
Let the pie rest for a bit before cutting to let it set. I was too impatient for this and mine fell apart a bit. Still delicious though!

For a printable recipe click here

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