I have a lot of cookbooks. No, really, I think it might actually be a problem. When I’m bored, I might read a book, but I’m even more likely to read a cookbook. One of my cookbooks is the vegetarian edition of the Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast series. It’s a pretty good cookbook, short and sweet, organized in an appealing way, and definitely a good starter cookbook since the recipes are simple and easy to follow. But I haven’t made many of the recipes from it (though my roommate last year swore by it).
Now that it’s zucchini and squash season, my mind keeps going back to this one recipe from this cookbook – polenta with vegetable ragout. One thing that always bothered me about the recipe from the cookbook is that the ragout, which has no real solid texture, is served over creamy polenta. Where’s the crunch? What do I bite into? What could I put in there to give me that solid?
|Tis the season….for squash!|
Then I realized that polenta doesn’t always have to be mushy. It can come in solid form as well. Now, I usually love making things from scratch, but I cheated a bit for this recipe. This is one of the times where making the polenta from scratch would not have added anything other than time (I would have had to make the polenta, then chill it to harden, then cut it into rounds). Instead, I picked up a log of pre-made, pre-solidified polenta. If I wanted to make herbed polenta or cheesy polenta or some other version that involves flavoring the polenta itself, I would go through the process (or at least try). In this case, your local Trader Joe’s has gluten-free, dairy-free, prepared polenta in a log that actually tastes pretty good. I highly recommend you pick some up.
Anyway, after picking up some good late summer veggies and log or two of polenta, here is the version of this polenta-ragout recipe that I came up with.
Summer Vegetable Ragout with Crispy Polenta Rounds
Salt and pepper to taste
2. Heat a large pan on the stove. Add 1 tablespoon of oil into the hot pan, wait a few seconds, then add the shallots and garlic. Sauté for a minute, then add the zucchini and yellow squash slices. Sauté for a few minutes, then add the eggplant (they cook a little faster). Let the veggies cook until they begin to soften (the more veggies you have in there, the longer it will take), stirring gently every few minutes.