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Creamy Polenta with Roasted Spring Vegetables and Gremolata

Creamy Polenta with Roasted Spring Vegetables and Gremolata

A solid base of creamy polenta is topped with crunchy roasted spring vegetables and a blooming helping of gremolata for a combination that breathes new life into traditional flavors.

Gremolata is a fresh, parsley-forward seasoning blend traditionally used as a finish for the Italian dish osso buco. When I tried it for the first time, I was shocked by the bright, dynamic flavor evoked by these commonly used ingredients.

In this vegetable-based dish, I harness gremolata’s potential and challenge the culinary establishment’s traditional use of the condiment with luscious results. A solid base of creamy polenta is topped with crunchy roasted spring vegetables and a blooming helping of gremolata for a combination that breathes new life into traditional flavors. Consider adding a drizzle of hemp oil – available in the health section at most well-stocked grocery stores – to finish this dish. In addition to its purported health benefits, it has a nutty flavor reminiscent of pistachio.

Creamy Polenta with Roasted Spring Vegetables and Gremolata

Serves | |

Polenta

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Roasted Spring vegetables

  • 12 medium rainbow carrots, halved lengthwise
  • 12 small radishes, uncut
  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Gremolata

  • 1 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 3 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

| Preparation - Polenta| Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; add cornmeal, whisking constantly to make sure there are no lumps. Add salt; cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly until thick. Turn off heat; add cheese, sour cream and butter. Season to taste.

| Preparation - Roasted Spring Vegetables| Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, combine carrots, radishes and mushrooms. Drizzle with olive oil; add salt, paprika and garlic powder and toss well to combine thoroughly. Transfer seasoned vegetables to a baking sheet and spread out evenly. Roast for 20 minutes or until the veggies are medium brown.

| Preparation - Gremolata| In a medium bowl, combine parsley, lemon zest and garlic; season with salt.

| To Serve | Divide polenta evenly among serving bowls; sprinkle additional cheese on top. Top polenta with roasted spring vegetables and gremolata.

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Gaby is a private chef, culinary instructor, school lunch activist and contributing columnist for Feast’s Healthy Appetite. She’s eager to use sustainable local food as a vehicle for sharing people’s stories and cultures.

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