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Recipe: Polenta With Tuscan Seasonal Vegetables

Polenta With Tuscan Vegetables

I promised Eco ‘Burban Mom I would post a polenta recipe weeks ago, so here it is finally! If you’ve never tried to make polenta, just go for it. It’s a lot easier than you think…

Quick Polenta.

Adapted from Mario Batali’s “Molto Italiano”



  • 5 c water
  • 1 c quick-cooking polenta or fine cornmeal
  • salt to taste



1. Bring the water to a boil in a sauce pan.

2. Add the polenta in a thin stream, stirring constantly.

3. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring, until it becomes the consistency of oatmeal (5-7 mins).

4. Pour the polenta into an ungreased 10×15″ baking pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.

5. Set aside to cool (Matt puts it in the freezer or refrigerator to cool more quickly – about 10-15 mins).

6. Invert the polenta onto a cutting board and cut into 4 rectangles, then cut each one diagonally in half to make 8 pieces.


Homegrown Sage

Tuscan-Style Vegetables.

Adapted from Mario Batali’s Carciofi alla Toscana in “Molto Italiano”




  • 1 large cauliflower (or one head of broccoli, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, whatever seasonal veggie you have)

    1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil

  • juice from 1/2 lemon (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 4 fresh sage leaves

  • 10 fresh basil leaves

  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper

  • salt to taste


1. Heat a frying/saute pan over medium-heat, then add olive oil until it smokes.

2. In the meantime, slice the garlic thinly. If you have a thick vegetable, you can also lightly steam it first.

3. Add the vegetables to the smoking oil and toss to sear them, until al dente.

4. Add the garlic, sage, basil, lemon juice, and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender and lightly crisp at the edges from the searing.

5. Season with salt.

6. Serve over polenta (above).



This is how we had it, and it was very good. However, both Matt and I thought this dish would be even better lightly drizzled with fresh, homemade tomato sauce.


Makes 4 servings.

Polenta Dinner

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8 comments to Recipe: Polenta With Tuscan Seasonal Vegetables

  • YUMMM!! Gotta make that this weekend…

  • AHA!!!!!!!!!!!! And, there it is! And I didn’t pick up that head of cauliflower at the market this week either. Rats. Though, I can still try the polenta! Thank you Melinda! I will let you know how my first try at this masterpiece turns out. Yippeeeeee!

  • SHIBAGUYZ, Let me know how it goes!

    EBM, You’re welcome! You can make it with other veggies, too – I look forward to hearing the results. This is the quick polenta version. Sometime in the future (uh oh another promise) I’ll post a longer-cooking polenta that has a fuller flavor. Both are good, for different dishes. Anyway, have fun!

  • Funny- I like oatmeal, cream of wheat and grits, but don’t care much for polenta. Maybe I will try making my own and enjoy this!

  • Oh God – I’m drooling over that! I’m a BIG polenta fan and make it all the time (though not so much in the summer). Never thought to do cauliflower with it. Just found your blog…

  • With me right in the middle of Cauliflower season…. Woohoo.

    Boy do I need to plant more next year but this recipe certainly looks worth it. Bet it would have looked stunning with my Violet Sicilian cauliflower but sadly they well and truly gone at this point.

    Kind Regards

  • Sounds really wonderful. Slices of the firm polenta are also good browned in a nonstick skillet (or George Foreman nonstick grill). They make a nice substitute for pancakes or French toast that way.

    It’ll be months until we have cauliflower again through the CSA sadly. I would go buy some from the store, because I’m okay with that once in a while, but then I risk letting some of my local produce go bad. I’ll just dream of this dish until winter.

  • ROB, Since you like all those other things, I wonder if you just haven’t had a good polenta… Matt didn’t like polenta either before finding a good recipe! There are all sorts of ways to make polenta – this is just one. Chile’s tip to brown it is also great – grilling, too.

    MINDFUL MOMMA, Glad you found our blog! I’m looking forward to sitting down with yours – it looks wonderful.

    BELINDA, Wow, violet cauliflower – I bet they were gorgeous! I love fresh heirloom cauliflower. I can’t believe there was a time when I didn’t like this vegetable – turns out it was just that I don’t like the heavily commercialized version!

    CHILE, I wholeheartedly agree: in a skillet or on a grill – YUM. I forget that those of you in the south are long past cauliflower season. I think this year we could grow them all year round up north. It has been a long cold season. But you can make this dish with summer veggies, too!

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