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Looking for a fancy dish to impress but simple to prepare? This is it. The polenta can be cooked ahead of time then baked in the oven with the roasted vegetables during the last 25 minutes. So good, so simple. *Prepare vegetables on the grill if preferred.



1 cup yellow corn grits

3 cups vegetable broth

1.5 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 Tbsp dried parsley

1 clove garlic, minced


5-6 cups assorted veggies like zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, mushrooms, carrots

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp Italian seasonings

Salt & pepper

(Red Pepper Sauce)

14oz jar roasted red peppers, drained

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 large clove garlic

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves plus some for garnish.

Salt & pepper


1. Prepare polenta by bringing vegetable broth to boil then slowly stir in corn grits. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 30 minutes stirring frequently to minimize sticking to pot. Polenta will become very thick and sticky. After 30 minutes, stir in olive oil, garlic and parsley then continue to cook for 5 more minutes.

2. Spray and 9" x 9" baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer polenta to dish, smooth out and let sit on counter for 30 minutes before baking. *If making ahead, cover and refrigerate.

3. Preheat oven to 375°F. If using eggplant, sprinkle cut slices with a little salt, then place on paper towel to drain while preparing other vegetables. Toss sliced veggies with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Italian seasonings and a pinch of salt & pepper.

4. Roast vegetable for 25 minutes, turn over and continue to Bake 25 more minutes. Add baking dish of polenta to oven to cook alongside vegetables for remaining 25 minutes.

5. While vegetables are roasting prepare red pepper sauce by blending roasted red peppers, tomato paste, basil and garlic together in blender or food processor.

6. Simmer red pepper sauce in a saucepan over medium low heat for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

7. To serve, cut polenta into 4 slices. Place each piece of polenta over 1/4 of the red pepper sauce, then top with roasted vegetables and garnish with chopped basil.

Recipe adapted from Chicago Diner

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