Perfect Polenta with Cool Pinto Salad
olive oil to coat bottom of pan
1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 3/4 cups vegetable broth or water (polenta won't be as flavorful with water)
1 cup coarse corn meal (polenta grade)
1 teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 large or 2 small zucchinis, sliced, cooked, then chopped
3 green onions, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
vegan sour cream, for garnish
vegan cheese, for garnish
guacamole, for garnish
1. Saute the onion in olive oil until it starts to sweat. Add garlic. When that becomes fragrant, pour in the vegetabke broth. Bring to boil. Cascade in corn meal, slowly pouring it in while whisking the broth so it blends without clumping. Add salt and pepper. Reduce to medium-low heat so that is gently bubbles.
2. Stir! Stirring well about every 2 minutes is key to the perfection of this polenta. After about 30 minutes it should be done. You can test it along the way by scooping up a little in a spoon and letting it sit for a minute. If it is soft in texture but congealed, it is probably done.
3. Pour into a greased square or rectangle pan. Allow to cool and set for at least an hour but really it is better if left over night. To cook. simply grill on a panini press, George Foreman grill, or in a pan with some olive oil, until top and bottom form a crispy skin.
4. For salad, the zucchini will add the most flavor to the salad if it is lightly cooked first on your grill, but raw zucchini is great too. Add zucchini, green onions, tomatoes, and cilantro to pintos in a bowl, Add seasonings and lime juice. Stir and serve cool over grilled polenta with a vegan sour cream, vegan cheese or guacamole garnish.
The Whole Meal is So Fresh and Tasty, I Hope You Like It!
Source of recipe: The polenta is adapted from my friend Sheila's recipe, and I made up the pinto salad from ingredients I had in the fridge.