Thursday, November 8, 2007

Grilled Polenta with Fire-Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic

"Fire-roasted." Heh. That is my fancy word for throwing stuff on the BBQ. Several years ago my Dad bought us a very nice BBQ, and when we became vegan he worried it would fall into disuse. Never! I think vegans need to rediscover the grill and reclaim it as their own.

- 1 cup polenta (or yellow cornmeal)
- 3 cups water (2 cups if using cornmeal)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp each parsley and sage
- 8 roma tomatoes
- 8 unpeeled garlic cloves
- oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

For the polenta:
1. Bring water and salt to a boil. Slowly whisk in polenta to keep it from clumping. Continue to stir frequently with a wooden spoon for about 30 mins (5 if using cornmeal) until polenta is soft. When cooked, stir in dried herbs.
2. Spread into a lightly oiled 8x8 baking pan and refrigerate until cool.
3. Once cooled, slice into 6 pieces and brush liberally with oil.

On the Grill:
1. Heat BBQ to med-high. (more on the high side than the medium)
2. Wrap garlic cloves in foil. Brush tomatoes with oil. Place both on grill. Keep turning tomatoes and garlic to keep from charring (I usually put the garlic on the upper rack). Roast tomatoes for about 15 mins, until skins split and tomatoes are soft. You want them to be blackened for some taste, but you don't want to burn them.
3. Meanwhile, place polenta slices on oiled grill. Grill about 5-8 mins per side until polenta is crispy on the outside.
4. Remove tomatoes from grill and roughly chop. Peel garlic and roughly chop.
5. Stack polenta on serving dish as pictured, top with tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil if you want. Sprinkle chopped garlic over top of tomatoes and top with basil. Serve.