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Lemon-Thyme Polenta and Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables

Lemon-Thyme Polenta and Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables
You can prepare the polenta up to 2 days in advance, if desired. Regular thyme may be substituted for the lemon thyme, although it won't have the same citrusy fragrance.

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 Tbs. plus 4 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 4 tsp. chopped fresh lemon thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. drained and minced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 5 Asian eggplant, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 zucchini, cut into slices 1 inch thick
  • 8 small red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 red onions, each cut into eighths

Directions:

Line an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap.

In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together 2 1/2 cups of the broth, the cornmeal, 1 Tbs. of the garlic and 2 tsp. of the thyme. Continue to whisk until the cornmeal is thick and smooth, about 12 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Pour the cornmeal into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly and smoothing the top. Let cool, cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 5 hours.

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup broth, the vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, and the remaining 4 tsp. garlic and 2 tsp. thyme. Add the eggplant, zucchini, potatoes and bell pepper. Toss well and let stand for 20 minutes.

Coat 3 baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Turn out the polenta onto a cutting board and cut into 12 equal slices. Place the polenta slices in a single layer on 1 of the prepared baking sheets. Arrange the marinated vegetables and onions on the other 2 baking sheets. Season with salt and pepper.

Place all 3 baking sheets in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Turn over the vegetables and polenta and continue to roast until browned, about 10 minutes more for the vegetables and 15 minutes more for the polenta.

Transfer the vegetables to warmed individual plates, dividing them evenly. Garnish each plate with 2 polenta slices. Serve immediately.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Fresh & Light, by Lane Crowther (Time-Life Books, 1998).