Have you ever cooked with Polenta? I’ve had it once or twice grilled and thought it was good, nothing exceptional, but not horrible either. Then I found this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks and new I had to try it. With list in hand I went to my local grocery store that always stocks polenta in the vegetable section and they did have some only it was cinnamon and raisin flavor. . . I don’t look for failure people. So obviously that was a no-go, but a produce stock-er overhearing my reaction was kind even to tell me that there is polenta in the pasta section too. Did you know this? Well I wasn’t sure what to expect since surely the refrigerated stuff couldn’t be in with the pasta. Turns out polenta is just cornmeal and you can make the tube yourself. So I did and while I won’t recommend that you do it for this meal (since it’s supposed to be a quick one) it can be done and it’s not terribly difficult to do. I was a little disappointed when the husband sat down to dinner and said “So we’re having fried grits for dinner?” *sigh*

Fried Polenta and Summer Veggies

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tubes prepared polenta, sliced into 1/2 in thick circular slices
1 yellow onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
6 sun-dried tomatoes, dry or marinated, sliced
14.4 oz pureed tomatoes (or sub diced tomatoes and give them a whirl in the food processor)
1/4 cup fresh oregano and/or parsley, chopped (dried works too in a pinch)

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the broiler. In a large skillet heat 1/4 cup oil over medium high heat. Add the polenta slices and let them get crispy and lightly browned on each side. Meanwhile, in another skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat and saute the onions and zucchini until tender. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, pureed tomatoes, and herbs. Turn to low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally. Prepare a 9×13 baking pan with nonstick baking spray. When the polenta is brown transfer the slices to the pan and top them evenly with the vegetable and tomato mixture. Top everything with cheese and broil until cheese is melted and slightly brown.

Source: Adapted from SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue

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