Friday, September 28, 2007

Roasted vegetables + Spicy polenta = close to perfect meal

I could term this a perfect meal, but nothing's perfect, right? :) Wait, the last post was about a perfect seafood meal ... hmm, guess that was just marred by the totally imperfect picture!

I've kind of rediscovered The Complete Cookbook in the last few weeks - this is one of my oldest cookbooks and I've used several recipes from it, but it seems like I've also skimmed through a lot of other truly mouthwatering recipes. As I was flipping through the pages yesterday, this roasted vegetable salad totally caught my eye - it seemed like another of those "let's get into Fall" recipes and we had most of the workings for it :) Turned a few more pages and we stumbled upon a polenta recipe that seemed like a good match.

The veggie salad called for parsnips along with dutch potatoes, onions and carrots - Hmm ... no parnsips! We just went with a bell pepper and some pearl onions instead. Worked pretty well, especially with the killer dressing we made for it!

Roasted Vegetable Salad

5 baby dutch potatoes - halved
20-25 pearl onions - soaked in hot water and peeled

4 carrots - cut into 4" long strips
1 green bell pepper - quartered

2 t poppy seeds

1 T olive oil

a few pieces of brie

Toss the vegetables in the olive oil and bake uncovered in a greased pan at 400 F for 50 minutes. Once the veggies are done, toss them with the poppy seeds and set back in the oven for 5-7 minutes. This browns the poppy seeds a bit and makes them even crunchier.

1/3 cup orange juice (the pulpier the better)

1 T horseradish paste (dijon mustard would work too, but we liked this flavor better)

1/4 t thai red chilli paste

1 t sesame oil

kosher salt

Whisk all the ingredients together and toss with the vegetables. Top with the brie once these are laden onto the plates.

We started working on the polenta as the veggies were being roasted. Again, the original recipe called for leeks, but we didn't have any on hand. So, we went with a bunch of green onions instead - a worthy substitute!

Spicy polenta with green onion topping

1.5 cup of cornmeal
6 cups of water

1 t garam masala

1/2 t chilli powder

1 t cumin seeds
3-4 oz fontina cheese - finely cubed
7-8 green onions - chopped

Saute the green onions in about 1/4 t of butter and set aside.

Once the water boiled, we poured the polenta in a fine stream, stirring constantly to avoid lumping. Well, we didn't avoid it - but we worked at it with a vengeance till it got smooth again. Phew! Stirring polenta is such a pain! But this was worth the effort. We tossed in the spices and kept stirring - about 20 minutes till it was finally done. I doled it out on a plate - kind of like a mound and topped it with the green onions and a few cubes of fontina.
After the stirring workout, it tasted delicious! :)


TBC said...

I like roasted vegetables & your dressing sounds great.:-)Unfortunately, I don't have the red chilli paste and sesame oil.

KayKat said...

You could substitute chilli powder for the paste, and maybe peanut oil or even safflower oil for the sesame oil?

Anonymous said...

looks a bit greasy but i'll try it! yumma!