Polenta is an ingredient I’ve been wanting to get my hands on for a while but just didn’t know where to start. Aside from a cake (and chips, as everyone reminded me on Instagram when I asked for suggestions!) this is a lovely hearty bowl to use polenta, lightened with a little cauliflower - an idea from Lisa at Healthy Nibbles and Bits.
SERVES: 3-4 dependent on portion sizes
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 30 minutes
- 1 head of cauliflower (should give you about about 450g)
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 cup (140g) polenta
- 4 cups (950ml) stock or boiling water
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 bell peppers - I used red, orange and green for colour
- olive oil to cook with
- salt and pepper to taste
- Handful of fresh coriander leaves (optional topping)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Slice up your peppers into long strips about the width of two thumbs - about an inch / 3-4 cms. Place them in a roasting tray and drizzle with oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes until soft and just starting to colour on the edges.
- While your peppers roast, cut the cauliflower into florets i.e. small bite-size pieces. Add florets into a food processor and blitz until you get fine cauliflower rice. I did this in my nutribullet in small batches.
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the crushed garlic and that cook for 30 seconds, then add the cauliflower 'rice' and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the polenta and the stock and stir to mix everything together. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let everything simmer for about 20 minutes. If you find that all the liquid evaporates before the polenta looks (or tastes) softened, add a little water and stir through and continue cooking. Your polenta shouldn't be grainy, so keep going until it loses that crunch or grittiness.
- Add the thyme, butter and salt to the polenta and stir until the ingredients have melted. Turn off the heat and cover the pan with a lid for a further 4-5 minutes. The polenta will continue to absorb all the liquids.
- Dish up the cauliflower polenta into bowls and top with some of your roasted peppers. top with some torn coriander leaves and a generous grind of salt and pepper.
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