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Creamy Polenta with Grilled Vegetables

Creamy Polenta with Grilled Vegetables
Italian polenta is traditionally made from coarsely ground yellow corn. When cooking it, be sure to use a heavy pot to prevent sticking and scorching. Here, we pair the polenta with grilled vegetables, which make a delicious accompaniment to our chicken mattone (see related recipe at left).

Ingredients:

For the polenta:

  • 8 cups milk
  • 2 cups Italian polenta
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 small tomatoes, halved crosswise
  • 2 Asian eggplant, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch
     slices
  • 3 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • Lemon wedges for serving (optional)

Directions:

If using wooden skewers, soak them in water to cover for 20 to 30 minutes.

To make the polenta, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the milk to a boil. Slowly whisk in the polenta, then reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, about 15 minutes. Stir in the butter, cream and cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and cover to keep warm.

In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper, then whisk in the olive oil. Put the tomato halves in a shallow bowl and gently coat with 1/4 cup of the olive oil mixture. Reserve the remaining mixture.

Thread the eggplant slices lengthwise onto wooden or stainless-steel skewers. Thread the zucchini rounds and the tomato halves onto separate skewers.

Preheat an indoor electric grill on medium-high heat. Lightly oil the grill.

Working in batches, place the skewers on the grill (place the tomatoes cut sides down) and grill until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter, drizzle with the reserved olive oil mixture and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve immediately with the polenta. Serves 6 to 8.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.