Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cheesy Polenta Cups with Shredded Zucchini

We scored several bags of discount tomatoes at the grocery store, so it was homemade pasta sauce tonight with tempeh meatballs. I made these polenta cups (with cornmeal because it's easier) to try to get the kids to eat some zucchini without so much whining. They didn't whine, but they didn't jump up and down either. I really liked them and they would make a nice appetizer.

- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small zucchini, finely grated
- 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce (or more)
- grated vegan cheese (alternate topping: Italian bread crumbs)
Variation: top zucchini with pesto

1. Bring water and salt to boiling in a sauce pan. Whisk in cornmeal and keep whisking until thick. Remove from heat and whisk in nutritional yeast and olive oil.
2. Spoon polenta into 6 muffin tins. Allow to cool slightly, then, working quickly, press into a shell shape. Wet your fingers of polenta is sticky. Place muffin tin in the fridge to cool.
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grate zucchini. Squeeze out excess water with your hands. Remove polenta from fridge, remove from muffin tin, and place on a non stick cookie sheet. Gently press 1/6 of the zucchini into each cup and top with a generous tbsp of spaghetti sauce. Top all that with some cheese.
4. Bake for 10-12 mins, until cheese is melted and polenta is slightly crispy.
NOTE: you need to shape the polenta before it cools. Wetting your fingers can help if polenta is sticky, or is cooling quickly. If you want to make more than 6 cups, I would suggest making two batches of polenta rather than trying to for 12 cups at once.