Polenta is an Italian corn porridge with a grits-like consistency that is a gluten-free. This version is flavored with fresh herbs and sweet sun-dried tomatoes.
Today’s recipe is from a great new cookbook Vegan Under Pressure: Perfect Vegan Meals Made Quick and Easy in Your Pressure Cooker by Jill Nussinow. Jill is also known as the The Veggie Queen. She is a registered dietitian and cooking teacher as well as a cookbook author.
I’ve been a fan of Jill’s recipes ever since I made the brown rice recipe from her cookbook The New Fast Food: The Veggie Queen Pressure Cooks Whole Food Meals in Less than 30 Minutes.
Her new cookbook is a great addition to your cookbook collection even if you’re not Vegan. I’m trying to add more vegetables, beans, and whole grains to my diet and her cookbook is packed with advice and cooking charts, in addition to the creative vegan recipes.
This polenta recipe has several variations in the cookbook, I chose to make the Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Polenta without the olives because my family doesn’t like olives. If your family likes olives, add 1/4 cup chopped olives of your choice. Either way, it’s a flavorful side dish you can feel good about feeding to your family.
Sun-Dried Tomato Herbed Polenta
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, optional
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 or more teaspoons minced garlic
- 4 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1/3 cup finely diced sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup coarse polenta
Heat a stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat or set an electric cooker to sauté; add the oil, if using. Add the onion and sauté or dry sauté for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Add the water, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, bay leaf, oregano, and rosemary, along with half of both the basil and parsley; stir. Sprinkle the polenta over the water; do not stir.
Lock the lid in place. Bring to high pressure; cook for 5 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes, the release any remaining pressure. If the pressure releases before 10 minytes is up, let the polenta sit in the pot for the full 10 minutes. Remove the lid carefully titling it away from you.
Remove and discard the bay leaf. Whisk the polenta to smooth out any lumps. If the polenta seems too thin, stir and simmer over medium heat for a few minutes, or lock the lid back on the cooker and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in remaining basil and parsley.
Serve as is, or pour into glass pans to cool to at least room temperature. Once cool, bake, grill or panfry.
If you can’t stand lumps, you can cook polenta in a dish instead of cooking directly in the pot. Add the ingredients to a bowl that fits inside the cooker. Put 1 cup water into the cooker, along with a rack and set the bowl on top, using helper handles if necessary. Lock on theh lid and cook at high pressure for 5 minutes with natural release.