Creamy polenta is a wonderful base for a variety of dishes, adding comforting substance to lighter dishes such as this gluten-free vegetarian ratatouille with vegetables or sautéed mushrooms.
Gluten-Free Ratatouille with Quick Creamy Polenta Recipe
This clean and comforting meal (vegan, if you replace the polenta with cooked rice or quinoa) is bountiful, so whatever you don’t eat for dinner can become part of tomorrow’s omelet, pasta dish, or accompaniment to grilled beef.
For the Ratatouille:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 large eggplant cut into ¾-inch chunks
- 2 medium zucchini cut into 1-inch chunks
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 yellow or red bell pepper ribs and seeds removed, cut into ¾-inch chunks
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried herbes de Provence or ½ teaspoon each of dried thyme oregano, and rosemary
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 cups warm Quick Creamy Polenta
For the Quick Creamy Polenta: Makes about 3 cups
- 2 cups gluten-free chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup instant polenta
- 4 tablespoons ½ stick unsalted butter
Make the ratatouille: In a Dutch oven or heavy 4-quart pot with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic; cook 1 minute more. Stir in the eggplant and zucchini, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper pieces; simmer, covered, until they’ve softened, 5 minutes more. Stir in the tomatoes and the dried herbs; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover; simmer, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
Make the polenta: In a small saucepan, combine the chicken broth, salt, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly add the polenta, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring often, until thickened and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the butter and continue stirring until it’s incorporated, 1 minute more.
Remove from ratatouille from heat, stir in the vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Tear the basil leaves by hand and stir them in, then serve over the hot polenta.