I’m officially the worst Italian ever. (Side note: my brother and sister got all the Italian-looking genes, I got the Irish and English, go figure). This recipe was the FIRST time I’ve ever made my own polenta. Yep, never. My great-grandmother is probably rolling in her grave. But who knew it was so easy!?
Well, the important thing is I’ve finally done it! And, man, am I on the polenta train now, so don’t you worry nana!
If you’re a polenta newbie like me, you’re probably wondering what goes into this mysteriously delicious looking stuff. You’re not going to believe me, but all it is is cornmeal, water, vegetable stock, and butter (vegan or regular)… and salt and pepper of course. That’s it! It’s like a corn-based risotto— but without all that endless stirring. Win.
I somehow convinced myself back when I first heard of polenta that it was this crazy complicated, intricate thing to make. Maybe because it’s so luscious and creamy and comforting. Boy, was I so off track.
I’ve had polenta in a few different forms before (all either store bought or at a restaurant), but I knew I wanted to veggify this creamy dish into a healthy gluten-free dinner. That’s where I got the idea to top it with some balsamic roasted vegetables. I’ve been ALL ABOUT roasted vegetables lately, and balsamic has got to be one of my favorite roasting flavors, so that was settled right away.
But what about the protein? Cornmeal isn’t too up there on the protein charts, so I knew I needed a little protein punch. And what better way to do that than with my favorite little bean: chickpeas! I swear I could just sit and eat a bowl of these crispy things for dayyssss. I roasted them in olive oil, lots of garlic powder, salt, and pepper and ohhhh, I could hear those Italian angels singing (and my great-grandma forgiving me 😉 ).
Once the bowl was layered with this plethora of textures and flavors, I topped it off with some fresh parsley for a little extra color and freshness. Who knew this simple gluten-free and vegan meal could taste SO SO good?!?
Now it’s your turn— have you ever made polenta before??? What kinds of dishes have you made with it? I’m already on the search for more ideas!