Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Polenta with Stewed Peppers and Tomatoes - Vegan

The bright colors of the peppers and tomatoes make this dish delicious-to-your-eyes and perfect for entertaining your guests.

What goes in your body (4 vegan servings ) :
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta (coarse-ground yellow cornmeal)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into thin strips
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, cut lengthwise into thin strips
  • 1 pound fresh plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • Freshly ground peppers, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
  • Pitted kalamata olives

You are going to:
  1. Lightly oil a 10 inch pie plate, then set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to boil over high heat. Slowly add the polenta, stirring constantly with a long-handled spoon. Reduce the heat to low and stir in 1 tbsp of the oil, one third of the chopped garlic, and salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn particles are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes.
  3. Spoon the polenta into the prepared pie plate, pressing down with the back of a large spoon to form a smooth surface. Let stand for 20 minutes to become firm. (Cover with foil and keep it warm.)

  4. Meanwhile, in a medium pan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook stirring often, until softened but not browned. 
  5. Add the bell peppers and remaining garlic, cook stirring often, until the peppers are softened but still somewhat firm.
  6. Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add the vinegar and sugar, stirring well to combine. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  8. Spoon the tomato mixture on top of the firm polenta and garnish with parsley.

  9. Cut into wedges and serve with greens and olives.
 Secrets from the chef:
  • It may seem like a lot of work when reading the recipe, but fear not! It's actually quite simple to make.
  • I recommend serving with a lot of olives to add more flavor to the meal. Go splurge on good olives from a fresh olive bar! 
  • The original recipe can be found in The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen. (One of my recommended books on the list.) 
Bon appétit!

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