Parmesan polenta layered in a casserole with vegetables, tomatoes, fresh herbs and cheeses.
1 c dried polenta cornmeal
3 c water
2 Tbs butter
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ cup parmesan cheese additional tbls butter for buttering Pyrex dish
3 Tbl olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
2 stalks celery
½ red bell pepper
1 c baby carrots, cut into pieces
2 small zucchini
2 c kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
2 tbl tomato paste
¼ c red wine
2 tbl fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 tbs fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tbl fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ c parmesan cheese
3 c mozzarella cheese
For the polenta layer:
1 Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Turn heat to low and gradually add the polenta, stirring rapidly with a wooden spoon. Add butter, salt and pepper. Continue to stir while the polenta simmers on low hear for 5 minutes.
2 Remove from heat and add the ½ cup of parmesan cheese. Pour into the well-buttered Pyrex dish, spread with a rubber spatula and let set.
For the filling:
1 Chop onion finely. Mash garlic, set aside. Cut celery, carrots, zucchini and red bell into bite-sized pieces and keep separately.
2 In large sauce pan, add olive oil. Turn heat to medium, wait one minute, then sauté garlic and onions until they are translucent, about 4 minutes.
3 Add the celery, and red bell pepper and cook about 3 more minutes. Then add the carrots and zucchini. Add the kale and stir one minute more.
4 Add the herbs, drained tomatoes, red wine and tomato paste. Cook 5 more minutes on a medium-low heat. Remove from heat and add parmesan cheese.
5 With a slotted spoon, layer vegetables onto the cooled polenta.
6 Sprinkle on grated mozzarella.
7 Bake in a 325° oven for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let set about 5 minutes before serving.