Roasted winter vegetables over Parmesan polenta

Tonight we roasted sweet potato, red onion and kale and spooned it over a bed of creamy, steaming Parmesan polenta.  It took about 45 minutes from start to finish.  The final result was a warming, comforting meal on a chilly evening.

Roasted vegetables:

  • 2 red onions
  • 2 sweet potatoes (though, I think yams would be better because of their beautiful color…our final result was a little too yellow)
  • 1 bunch of kale (any variety is fine, but we used dinosaur kale)
  • 1 T + 1 t olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt + a couple more dashes
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Parmesan polenta:

  • 2 c polenta (or coarse ground cornmeal or a mixture of regular and coarse ground cornmeal)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 – 1/2 c of grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

The total cook time for the potatoes and onions will be just over 30 min.  The kale will be take over 5 min.  The entire time the veggies are roasting, you’ll be stirring the polenta on the stovetop.

Wash the kale well and tear it into bite size pieces (without the center rib).  Put the kale in a plastic bag.  Add in 1 t of olive oil and a couple dashes of salt.  Shake the bag around and coat all the leaves with oil.

Place a pot with 6 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt on the stove to boil.  (Optional: turn on a kettle of water, too, in case you need extra water as you make the polenta.)

Coarsely dice up the potatoes and onions, then place in a single layer in a roasting dish.  The potatoes should be approximately 1 inch cubes.  The onions should be cut into eighths.  Drizzle 1 T of olive oil over the veggies and then add salt and pepper.  Mix it all together so the veggies are coated (I used my hands, but those of you who are more civilized might use a spoon).

Set the timer for 20 min and put the veggies into the oven.

Add the polenta to your pot of boiling water.  Now comes the fun part.  Start stirring.  Stir, stir, stir, stir.

If the polenta gets too thick, add more water (you’re less likely to get clumpy polenta if you add in hot water, so I think it’s easiest to add in extra water from the kettle).

When the timer goes off, stir around your veggies so all sides get browned and then add in the kale.  You can just put the kale over the top of the other veggies.  The kale will get nice and crispy (both Alex and I loved the kale!  Kind of an unusual addition to a roasted veggie mix, I think).  Put the timer on for another 7 minutes.

Get back to the polenta as quickly as you can.  Keep stirring.  Stir until you’re about 2 minutes shy of the timer going off.  It should be thick and creamy.  Turn the heat all the way down.

Now grate in some Parmesan over the pot of polenta.  Mix it in.

Pull the veggies out.  Poke or eat a potato and make sure they’re cooked all the way through.

Put a heaping ladel of polenta on a plate and spoon your roasted veggies over the top (this is also very cozy to eat in a bowl, curled up on the couch).

To top off the warm feeling of this awesome, rustic dish, we decided to drink a bottle of Turley Juvenile zinfandel from our trip to Paso Robles with dinner.  Here’s a view looking down on the bottle.

Bon appetit!


3 thoughts on “Roasted winter vegetables over Parmesan polenta

  1. woohooo! hello strangers! stumbling through the blogroll I came across you guys yesterday and thought this sounded delicious, so I rounded up the resident chef and directed him to the recipe. We’d never made polenta so IMMEDIATE INTRIGUE was sparked and we were all in. The miniature Safeway around the corner didn’t have kale though, so we substituted red chard. (I think Alec gets nervous cooking without meat, so he also fired up a piece of filet to add to the dish–and damn.) Otherwise we followed along to the letter and hellooooo IT WAS DELICIOUS!!! We dogged it. And we wailed the whole time. It was so good – and it seemed you could mash it all together, or go piece by piece–the polenta being this kickass base either way. The crispy chard was an incredible addition–I’m baking chard chips now for EVERY MEAL. That’s right. I guess the major place we went astray was the red wine–we substituted Jim Beam and Longboard Lager. That’s a little trick we like to play here in the Napa Valley. Dammit.

    Miss you guys–now please list what we need for tonight’s dinner! yummmmmm chardy chips

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