Ratatouille with Polenta Squares
This more-ish French stew pairs perfectly with polenta squares.
Serves 1 | Prep time: 30 mins | Cooking time: 45 mins
- 1/2 cup eggplant, diced
- 1 tsp olive oil (optional)
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 1 small clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2 tsp Massel salt-reduced stock powder
- 1/4 red capsicum (bell pepper), diced
- 1/4 green capsicum (bell pepper), diced
- 1/2 cup zucchini, diced
- Mixed herbs
- 1/4 cup canned tomatoes (diced or crushed)
- 1 cup borlotti beans (canned)
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup cornmeal (also called polenta)
- Pinch of iodised salt (optional)
- A generous grating of black pepper
- Basil, oregano, or other herbs (optional and to taste)
- Bring the water to a simmer in a small pot over a medium heat, then add the polenta gradually and stir constantly.
- Reduce to low heat, then stir in other ingredients (herbs, salt and pepper to taste) until thickened. It may take 3-5 minutes for it to thicken. Remove from heat.
- Lightly oil a pan or container and press the polenta mixture into it, so that it is about 1 cm thick (just less than an inch).
- Let it cool then refrigerate until chilled and solid. Can leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Remove from the pan and slice into squares.
- Brown the polenta squares in a lightly-oiled non-stick pan (or simply microwave until warm).
- Place the diced eggplant in a bowl and cover with water. Make sure it stays fully submerged to remove the bitterness. Leave to soak for 30 minutes.
- Heat a little olive oil in a heavy pan. Add the onions and garlic and sauté, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until softened and golden.
- Add the drained and rinsed eggplant and the stock powder and cook for another 5 minutes or so until softening, adding a little water as needed. Then add the capsicum and zucchini and cook for a few more minutes.
- Transfer vegetables into a casserole dish, adding the mixed herbs, diced tinned tomatoes and borlotti beans. Cover and cook at low-moderate heat in the oven until the vegetables are tender. When cooked, stir in the chopped parsley and serve with the polenta squares.
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