Thursday, September 6, 2012

Polenta Bars

These are a great appetizer, side dish or entree. The photo is only was left after the first use. This is another recipe by Colleen Patrick Goudreau in The 30-Day Vegan Challenge.

4 cups water
1 1/2 cups coarse cornmeal or polenta
1/4 cup nondairy milk (soy, rice, almond, hazelnut, hemp, oat)
1 teaspoon salt (may need more, add gradually)
2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Add the water to a 4-quart saucepan, and heat to boiling.
  2. When the water has boiled, slowly add the cornmeal, whisking frequently as you pour it in. If you don't whisk, it will clump up. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue stirring for about 5 minutes to allow the polenta to absorb the water and thicken up. Slowly add the nondairy milk, salt, and nutritional yeast, and stir until the liquid is absorbed and the polenta thickens, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add the basil and parsley, stir for 1 more minute, and remove from heat.
  4. Taste, and add additional salt, if necessary.
  5. At this point, the polenta will be thick (and getting thicker.) Once you remove it from the heat, you serve it immediately, or, to form it into shapes, you will shapes using a cookie cutter, and set aside.
  6. To let it set, pour it into a 9-by-13-inch glass or nonstick pan, and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight. When ready to serve, cut into squares or punch out other shapes using a cookie cutter, and set aside.
  7. Heat the olive oil in the skillet on medium heat. Sear the polenta squares until golden on both sides and heated throughout. Serve with hot marinara sauce.

Other Notes:

  • Variation: Instead of pan-frying the polenta, as long as it is nice and firm, it can also be grilled. Brush the squares first with olive oil, and grill until seared on both sides and heated throughout.

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