Many years ago, in a different time, a different land, I knew someone who did not like corn. No corn bread, no corn on the cob, no grits, no creamed corn, and I assume, no polenta.Now, I do not even speak to this person anymore, it has been years, and that is more than likely for the best. I mean, really? What kind of sociopath does not like corn?
Let me put myself n the record, here, now. that I think you may be marginally if not completely insane if you do not like corn. Sure, you can like one way it is made more than another. Sure, you can be hesitant about corn syrup, and sure you can prefer grits to polenta. Well, I do not know about that last one as they are pretty much the same thing.
Before Europeans came to the new world, they were already making polenta. It was just being made with other grains.Yes, corn is a grain. It is technically not a vegetable despite what we may sometimes think.But, and I would think you would agree, corn really makes polenta. I mean, they used to make polenta with chickpeas. That is not polenta, that is hummus!
On a personal note, I used to be somewhat ambivalent, or not that much a fan of polenta. Like a joke book for 2nd graders, I found it a bit corny.
That was a pretty bad joke, eh?I doubt it is worse than the title for this post, which really has nothing to do with it, other than being a horrific pun.
Anyways, I have grown to enjoy it, and I hope you do, too.I have seen polenta with chili, tomato sauce, and even as a pizza.I have in-fact made polenta pizza.It wasn’t bad. But, this time i thought it would be super with some green beans and tomatoes.I think you will agree.You better.Or else.
- 4 cups of water.
- 1 cup of cornmeal.
- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
- 2 tablespoons of Earth Balance butter.
- 1 tablespoon of grated vegan parmesan cheese.
First, so you do not forget, set the oven to 350 degrees, and spray or grease a small-ish bread pan. Yeah, I like to bake my polenta.Deal with it.
Now, bring the water to a boil, and when it does, add the cornmeal.I use a whisk to stir it, nearly constantly, as it thicken, then I use a spoon.Once the cornmeal is thick enough for you to stick a spoon it it and stands on it’s own, add the remaining ingredients.
Pour the cornmeal into the pan, let it set, and cook for 45 minutes or so.It should have a nice toasted , brownish hue to the top.
The baked polenta is done, but what about the tomatoes and green beans? Well, hold your horses, please. That is not a very vegan-friendly saying, is it? Umm, okay, hold your tempeh, here comes that recipe.
Tomatoes and Green Beans Ingredients.
- 1 medium onion, chopped.
- 2 large tablespoons of minced garlic.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
- 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- 1 tablespoon of dried basil.
- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
- 1 can of diced tomatoes. I think it was about 15 ounces.
- 1 small can of tomato sauce, it was about 8 ounces.
- Half a cup of sliced black olives.
- 1 and a half cups of green beans. Not too small, but not too long , either.
Heat the oil over medium heat, adding the onions.Saute them for about 5 minutes, till they begin to be translucent, then adding the minced garlic, cooking till you can really smell the flavors.You can do that, right? Of course, you can.
Now, add the sugar and caramelize the onions, this should be a few minutes, or so.Pour in the balsamic vinegar, or you cold use red wine vinegar, if you feel balsamic is played out.You can be cool like that, pal.
Pour in the diced tomatoes and the juice they came with, the tomato sauce, salt, and the basil.Cook for five minutes, add in the green beans if frozen, and cook another 5 minutes.
If, you are not using frozen, but fresh green beans, I would steam the beans for a few minutes before tossing them in.But, that is just me.
Plate the tomatoes and green beans, salt and pepper, then top that with a slice of the polenta.