Quick Ratatouille over Parmesan Polenta
Quick Ratatouille over Parmesan Polenta will be beloved by vegetarians and meat eaters alike. It’s hearty but won’t weigh you down and bonus that it makes for amazing leftovers, too!
It might be the first week of spring but I’m not getting too attached to the warmer weather quite yet. Spring in Utah means that it might be nice on day and crappy the next. I kid you not that in the same day it could be 58 degrees and sunny and then 30 and flurrying. It happens every single year.
I’m always so torn about winter coming to an end. I love, love, LOVE snowboarding and spending time on the mountain with my husband and kids. Leggings, sweatshirts, and uggs are my most favorite uniform and my hair has been in a ponytail and beanie since December. I’m never quite ready to give that all up, you know? I’m guess I’m one of those weirdos that could do winter 9 months a year and be a happy camper.
As much as I’d love for winter to stick around a while longer, spring is knocking on the door. As the season starts to change, so do my cooking tendencies. It’s still cool enough that I’m craving hearty and warming foods but in the back of my mind I know that it’s going to be shorts and flip-flop weather soon enough and it’s time to lighten things up if you know what I mean.
This Quick Ratatouille with Parmesan Polenta is sort of my ode to springtime in Utah. The veggies- not quite in season- get some extra love from being cooked down into a savory sauce. Even though it’s a hearty stew, it’s all veggies and is on the lighter side. But the Parmesan polenta? Well that’s just straight up indulgent deliciousness. And unapologetically so. Heavy and light mixed into the perfect springtime dinner.
This makes for awesome leftovers. You could easily swap out the veggies for what you have on hand and feel free to use a different cheese other than Parmesan, too. Enjoy and have a great week! xo, KelleyPrint
A hearty vegetarian recipe with a quick stew of sautéed veggies over a creamy Parmesan polenta.
for the ratatouille:
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 eggplant, peeled and chopped
- 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 roma tomatoes, cored and chopped
- 3 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 3 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil
for the polenta:
- 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 1/4 cup polenta- not instant (or yellow cornmeal)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- salt and pepper to taste
for the ratatouille:
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the eggplant and season with a pinch of kosher salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and starting to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the same pan and add the zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with a pinch of kosher salt. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pan and add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and another tiny pinch of kosher salt continue cooking for about 1 minute. Add the roma tomatoes and their juices and the wine. Stir just until wine has evaporated- about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and sugar, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down into a sauce, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cooked eggplant and zucchini, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper, and Italian seasoning to the pan; bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant and zucchini are soft. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Sprinkle with fresh basil just before serving.
for the polenta:
- Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a medium sized, heavy pot. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Add the Parmesan cheese, milk, and butter. Stir until the butter and cheese have melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep warm until Ratatouille is done cooking.
- To serve, divide polenta between 6 bowls. Top with a hefty scoop of the ratatouille. Garnish with fresh basil and more parmesan if desired.
It’s all about the timing with this recipe. Please read through the instructions as it’s best if you make the polenta and the ratatouille at the same time!
photos by Kellie Hatcher/ recipe by Mountain Mama Cooks