Vegan Griddled Polenta with Roasted Tomato Salsa
This vegan griddled polenta dish is an Italian staple and a simple and inexpensive recipe to cook at any time of year.
Add as much or as little chilli to the roasted tomato salsa as you like. You can ramp it up for spice lovers, or tone it down for those with a more delicate palate.
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The best thing about Italian food is its simplicity, which allows the flavours of the individual ingredients to really sing.
In this recipe, the sweet, caramelised red peppers and tomatoes complement the crispy polenta perfectly. It’s ideal as a weekend lunch option, a light dinner or a starter when you next have friends round.
What is polenta?
Made from cornmeal, polenta has a rich yellow colour and originates from Northern Italy. It’s an affordable and convenient ingredient to have in your storecupboard, for use in sweet and savoury recipes. Why not try using polenta to bake a delicious vegan cake?
When cooked, polenta is thick and creamy and is often used in place of potatoes or pasta in a meal.
For this dish, the polenta is baked and then lightly fried to create a crisp texture for dipping.
What does polenta taste like?
Polenta has a very mild flavour which is slightly sweet. This dish uses Dijon mustard and nutritional yeast to give the polenta a nice tang.
The neutral flavour of polenta lends itself well to being pared with rich dishes, such as a lentil ragu.
Tip: If you have an air fryer, use this to crisp up your polenta triangles. You could even try making polenta chips with rosemary and salt. Delicious!
Total Time: 45 minutes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
- For the polenta
- 0.25 0.25 litre water
- 0.25 0.25 tsp sea salt flakes
- 0.25 0.25 cube of vegetable stock
- 0.25 0.25 bay leaf
- 62.5 62.5 g polenta
- 0.5 0.5 tbsp dairy-free butter
- 0.5 0.5 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 0.5 0.5 tsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper, to taste
- For the salsa
- 62.5 62.5 g cherry tomatoes
- 0.25 0.25 red pepper
- 0.25 0.25 red chilli
- 1.5 1.5 cloves of garlic, left whole
- 0.5 0.5 tbsp olive oil
- 0.25 0.25 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 0.25 0.25 red onion, diced
- 0.25 0.25 large sprig of fresh basil leaves
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- To serve
- Cooked greens of your choice
- Extra basil leaves
- For the polenta, place the water, salt, stock cube and bay leaf in a large pan and bring to a boil.
- Slowly pour in the polenta, stirring continuously. Cook gently for around 5 minutes, continuing to stir, until the mixture thickens.
- Add the butter, nutritional yeast and mustard to the pan and mix well until fully combined and smooth. Season to taste with a little salt and plenty of black pepper.
- Line a baking tin with parchment paper and pour on the polenta. Spread out evenly with a spatula and set aside to cool. Once cooled, chill until firm.
- For the salsa, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Then arrange the tomatoes, pepper halves, chilli and garlic in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Once softened and caramelised, remove the salsa ingredients from the oven and leave them to cool. Then, peel the garlic cloves and roughly chop the cooked fruits, before mixing everything together to create the base of your salsa.
- Add the onion and chopped basil leaves to the salsa mix, stir to combine and season to taste.
- Remove the polenta from the fridge and turn it out onto a board. Cut into triangles and drizzle with a little olive oil
- Heat a griddle pan until very hot and add the polenta pieces. Cook, without moving them, for a few minutes until lightly charred. Turn over and repeat on the other side.
- Serve the cooked polenta with some steamed greens and a generous helping of salsa. Garnish with fresh basil before serving.
Each 219g serving provides: Fat 13.4g, Saturates 2g, Carbohydrate 17.6g, Sugars 5.5g, Fibre 3.6g, Protein 4.5g, Salt 4.9g
Hungry for more? Discover even more delicious vegan Italian dishes!