Wonderfully simple baked vegetables served on a bed of feta infused polenta. This is a warming, healthy side dish to add to the family meal table, or as a meal to enjoy as it is.
This meal was inspired by watching my new beetroot seedlings grow. They will grow all year round where we live, in the region of Geelong in Victoria. I don’t tend to grow them over the summer months, instead leaving the space to grow as many tomatoes as possible. Once the summer plants have finished they go straight back into the ground. I am looking forward to our harvest, so much so that I went to my local fruit and vegetable store to grab a few for this dish.
I added a sprinkling of our home grown peas – freshly podded with fresh mint leaves to serve. I didn’t want to cook the peas, but instead enjoy the fresh flavour and the crisp texture they add to the dish.
This recipe makes a large serving. You could halve it or do what I did and plate what you needed to serve only and leave the extra polenta to bake polenta chips for the following night’s dinner and some beetroot to also add to the following day’s meal or enjoy for lunch.
- 2 fennel bulbs - quartered
- 2 beetroot - quartered
- 1 capsicum - quartered
- drizzle of oil of choice
- ½ cup of polenta
- 2 and ½ cups of water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoons feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
- ½ cup fresh peas
- fresh mint leaves
- good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Heat the oven to 170 degrees celcius
- Add the fennel and capsicum to a small baking dish and drizzle with oil
- To a separate baking dish add the beetroot, drizzle with oil and cover it with al foil, or a lid
- Add the beetroot to the oven. After 5 minutes of the beetroot cooking also add the fennel and capsicum to the oven to cook.
- Allow the vegetables to cook for 25 minutes.
- minutes into the cooking time add the water to a wide-based saucepan and bring to the boil
- Once the water boils add the polenta in a steady stream and use a whisk to continuous mix the polenta and water until the polenta has absorbed the water and begins to pull away from the edge of the pan. Add the butter and feta at this time, continuing to continuously whisk and brak down any lumps. Once incorporated add the parmesan. Continue to whisk until the polenta is thick and glossy looking. Remove from the heat to serve.
- Test the beetroot readiness by inserting a skewer to the center. If it is inserted and removed with no resistance it is ready.
- Remove the vegetables from the oven and allow to sit while you add the polenta to the base of a serving plate.
- Top the polenta with the baked vegetables and add the fresh peas and mint leaves.
- Top with a light drizzle of oil and serve immediately
What is your garden inspiring you to cook right now?
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