These adorable vegan Italian Polenta Rounds are the perfect easy recipe to delight your entire family. Perfect for lunch, dinner, brunch, anytime! And they come together in a snap.
As sometimes happens, I did not have a clue what I would make for Jeff and I for lunch one day. After searching through my cupboards and fridge and pulling out some "likely suspects" I came up with this dish which was easy to prepare and quite delicious.
This recipe uses pre-packaged polenta.
Now, as you probably know, I am not a huge fan of pre-packaged anything. But due to an unfortunate accident in 1997 involving the need to run from the patio to the kitchen to stir my bubbling polenta and running smack dab into a large glass patio door earning me a bump on the forehead and a black eye -- well, they don't call me Sasster the Walking Disaster for nothing.
Needless to say, I haven't made homemade polenta since. ;)
Be sure to use organic polenta. Polenta is made from corn, and corn is one food that should ALWAYS be purchased organic. That's because most of the corn crops grown in the USA are now grown with the use of GMOs (meaning they are genetically modified ) -- I do not wish to eat a science experiment, thankyouverymuch.
I also use canned artichokes here. I hope to one day master the art of preparing fresh artichokes, but until then I will occasionally use canned artichokes as long as they are organic and packed in water.
The rest of the ingredients are just foods I happened to have on hand. You can feel free to switch them out for veggies you prefer. For instance, I am using a red onion because that's what I had available, but you can use any onion you prefer. You can also add mushrooms or greens or even finely chopped carrots to the mix.
Vegan Italian Polenta Rounds
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered (or cut into eighths)
1/2 cup onion, chopped into large pieces
2 garlic cloves, chopped
8 green olives w/pimentos, chopped
1/2 medium tomato, seeds removed and cut into large pieces
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4- 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup nutritional yeast, or to taste
2 large pinches of basil
1 large pinch oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 tube organic polenta, cut into six 1/2" slices
Step 1: Heat veggie broth in a large pan. Add artichoke hearts, onion, garlic and olives. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add tomato, lemon juice, and vinegar. Heat for a few minutes more or until tomatoes begin to soften and release their juices. Add nutritional yeast, herbs and spices. Cook 2-3 minutes, lower heat, cover, and keep warm until ready to use.
Step 2: Swipe a small pan with a little olive oil (or use a dry non-stick pan). Add slices of polenta and cook for a few minutes on each side. They will not brown unless you heat them for a long time, which I do not recommend since it is just not needed for this recipe.
Step 3: When ready to serve, lay three rounds on a plate. Spoon 1/2 the artichoke mixture over the rounds. Repeat for additional serving.
Please note: This recipe can be doubled to use the entire tube of polenta and will then serve 4.
Serve with a lightly steamed green leafy vegetable, or a crisp green salad.