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Polenta (Cornmeal) Slices with Roasted Peppers & Basil - from scratch or convenience-style

gluten free
wheat free
freezable
2 spoon difficulty rating

10-40 minutes

Time depends on whether dish cooked from scratch or uses ready-made polenta and roasted peppers.

Serves: 4

Polenta (Cornmeal) Slices with Roasted Peppers & Basil - from scratch or convenience-style

This recipe will make a meal for 2-4, depending on what else it is served with. It is a nice, simple way of using polenta (also called cornmeal). The dish is also low-fat and gluten-free and the yeast flakes add a slightly cheesy taste which is very nice - as well as being a good source of B vitamins.

Make it with loose flour OR in a ready-to-eat slab. You choose. 

Will make a meal for 2-4, depending what else it is served with. Try serving with a big dark green salad, eg watercress, rocket or such - or lightly stir-fried garlic greens, eg spinach or curly kale (plus something more substantial like roast tofu or a bean salad if it's a main course).

 

Ingredients: 

  • From scratch version: 175g/6oz/1 heaped cup polenta + 1 tsp salt + 600ml/20fl oz/2½ cups water (optional: add 1 tsp vegan bouillon or a stock cube but reduce the salt)
  • Quick version: open 1-2 packs ready to eat polenta, eg Italfresco or Sunita 
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes - eg Engevita (not to be confused with brewer's yeast!) 
  • 2 large sweet peppers or half a large jar of roasted red peppers in brine
  • 4 sprigs basil  

 

Method: 

1. If using ready-to-eat polenta in a slab and peppes in a jar, go straight to no. 12. 

2. From scratch. Put polenta into a pan (preferably non-stick ) with the salt.Add the water, a little at a time – stirring to make a smooth mixture. Add the bouillon or stock cube and stir to dissolve.

3. Bring to boil, stirring as it thickens, add the nutritional yeast flakes then turn heat down low and leave to cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

4. Use a heat diffuser under the pan if you have one.

5. Spread mixture into four 20cm/4 inch circles, using small plates as moulds, then lay on a baking tray - non-stick or lined with baking parchment. Alternatively, pour into a 8cm/3 inch deep-sided baking tin, about 23cm/9inch x33cm/13inch 

6. Chill until cold and firm then slice up.

7. Meanwhile, prepare red peppers if using fresh. If using peppers from a jar, go to no.11.

8. Cut them in half, remove core and seeds and put the halves, rounded sides up, on a baking tray or grill pan.

9. Cook under a hot grill for 10-15 minutes or until peppers tender and skin blackened in places.

10. When they have cooled a little, remove the skins if you wish.

11. Cut peppers into little strips.

12. If using ready-to eat polenta, slice into pieces first and sprinkle with salt, pepper and yeast flakes. Heat grill, then transfer polenta pieces to the grill pan – or a baking tray that will fit underneath grill.

13. Place the peppers on the top and grill the polenta rounds for a few minutes to brown off. Keep an eye on them so they don't catch! Snip the basil with scissors, scatter over the polenta rounds and serve hot.

 

 

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