Cauliflower & Charred Vegetable Polenta Recipe
A little about this recipe
Cooking Class: A new process for making a lo-calorie polenta. It has all the great taste of a traditional polenta.
1016 Total Calories (The calorie total is for following my exact recipe. It will vary if you add different veggies, but it will still be a lo-calorie polenta.)
This recipe is so tasty, it’s definitely with the work.
It may seem like a lot of steps…it’s a lot of chopping for some people. You can wash and prep the vegetables the day before…just store them in the refrigerator.
I had Italian grandparents. They had some challenges that required some serious discussion and preparation. The challenges they had always seemed to revolve around food. One big challenge was trying to keep the fig trees from freezing in the winter. Another was to try and keep peppers from getting too much humidity when drying outside in the summer…they could mold.
A personal dilemma I had was watching my great grandma make polenta. She used to have her hand so close to the boiling hot polenta for a long time. I don’t know how she didn’t get burned…maybe she did. She would sprinkle in a teaspoon or two of cornmeal at a time until the consistency was perfect. She didn’t use a scale or measuring cups. She’d then have to keep checking if it was sticking or burning. Later in life, my mom (cousins, etc…) and I look for new ways to cook things…easier and safer, but with the same great tastes. The process I show in the video is just as effective and tasty as the polenta I enjoyed as a child. It also has a lo-cal twist, using mashed cauliflower. This gives it a great flavor, and the texture remains perfect.
For this recipe, I used a pretty coarse cornmeal. Sometimes I use a combination of fine and coarse.
I added a number of vegetables into my polenta. I used these vegetables because they were what I had in my refrigerator. Feel free to make it your own, adding your favorites. You can even add meat and cheese if you want… I think porcini mushrooms, Italian sausage and fontanelle cheese would be a great addition.
Whatever you do, don’t delete the cauliflower from the recipe. It adds a great flavor. Also, if you peel the cauliflower stem, it is very tender inside. It can be used in cooking, or eaten raw with dips.
Click here, if you would like to see the video and get the recipe for the spinach and garbanzo beans I served with the polenta.
Have a great week…
1 cup cornmeal (coarse)
1 cup boiling water
Mix the above two ingredients together and cover with lid while prepping the rest of the recipe. If you do all the prep work, i.e. chopping, etc… the day before, let it stay covered for 1/2 hour.
239 grams zucchini (2 small…fine dice the outside, reserve the inside)
200 grams yellow squash (1 small…fine dice the outside, reserve the inside)
66 grams carrot (1/2 large…peel, fine dice)
47 grams mini pepper (2 medium…remove stem and seeds, fine dice)
45 grams shallot (1 medium…peeled and fine dice)
46 grams leek (3 inches…fine dice)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Remember to reserve the inside of the squash!
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet.
Place all the diced veggies in the oil; stir until they are cooked and a little charred.
Remove and reserve.
550 grams cauliflower (1 small head… cut the top into florets, peel and rough cut the stem)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place the cauliflower in a pot with the salt and cover with boiling water; cook until tender (about 4-5 minutes).
Strain cauliflower and return it to the pot.
Stir with a rubber spatula until the mixture seems semi dry and somewhat creamy.
Turn the heat off and place a lid on the pot until needed.
Blend the reserved insides from the zucchini and yellow squash with 1/2-3/4 cup of water; liquify.
Measure the liquid and place it into a stainless pan. You will need 2.5 cup total. If you do not have 2.5 cups, add water to equal that amount. (FYI- This will be the pan where everything is going to end up, so it should be a wide pot.) I like to use a wide pot rather than a thin-tall pot. It’s much easier to stir the polenta.
Bring this liquid to a boil and slowly stir in the cornmeal/water mixture (using a wire whisk).
Add 1/2 teaspoon of poultry seasoning.
Let boil for 5 minutes (while stirring a couple times each minute)
Whisk in the cooked cauliflower and let boil for 2 minutes continually stirring.
Stir in the charred veggies and bring to a boil.
Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
Place the lid on the pot and turn off the heat.
Let sit 5 minutes
Click on the following link to watch a video of exactly how to make this recipe: