Multi-tasking is a great way to create flavorful quick meals. In this recipe, the vegetables are roasted while the polenta cooks on the stove. The two finished components are then combined to make a delicious, well-rounded meal. Using several cooking techniques also adds layers of flavor. If you do not have saffron, simply omit it from the dish. To make this hearty meatless meal tonight, you'll need the recipe, so
Large pinch of saffron threads, optional
1 1/2 quarts plus 1 tbsp. hot water
2 medium red onions, cut into 6 wedges each
5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds cauliflower (from 1 small head), separated into 1-inch florets
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
One 15-oz. can pinto beans, drained
One 14-oz. can diced tomatoes with their juices
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups instant polenta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- In a small bowl, cover the saffron with 1 tablespoon of the hot water and set aside.
- On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the onion wedges with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. In a large roasting pan, toss the cauliflower and sweet potato with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season all of the vegetables with salt and pepper and roast for 10 minutes, adding the garlic to the onions in the last 3 minutes. Remove the onions and garlic from the oven.
- Add the beans, tomatoes and their juices, wine, cumin, crushed red pepper and saffron water to the cauliflower and sweet potatoes; roast for 10 minutes longer.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the remaining 1 1/2 quarts of water to a boil. Whisk in the polenta; cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/4 cup of Parmesan; season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon the polenta into 4 bowls. Stir the onions and garlic into the other vegetables, season with salt and pepper and ladle over the polenta. Serve, passing the remaining Parmesan at the table.
NOTES One Serving 640 cal, 24 gm fat, 4.9 gm saturated fat, 88 gm carb, 16 gm fiber.