I owe this blog post to Dana who has the most fantastic fresh recipes on her blog (danatreat.com). Recently I have been off meat... I am finding it over facing. I don't know whether I have been 'meated' out or that a stomach bug I had last week is still lingering. Whatever the reason it has made me look at different vegetable and salad recipes.
As Ian is an avid meat eater I always like to choose veggie dishes that can be served alongside any meat. Yesterday I chose Dana's dish as it was light, summery and looked fantastic. I originally was wanting to make the polenta from scratch however my local store didn't sell cornmeal, so I cheated and bought a roll of basil herb polenta (which worked well but was a little to firm for my liking and wasn't buttery enough). All the ingredients were locally sourced, the corn from Chilliwack, the tomatoes from Abbottsford which for me makes it taste even better. I added an additional onion which was not called for in the original recipe. To be honest you could make it a true succotash and add lima beans and possibly a red pepper. Anything that is fresh and summery. The most important ingredient which sets this dish alive is the basil. Please please please make sure that this is fresh. I used to find basil really soapy but on this recipe it is the best.
I made a huge dish of this summery delight and was surprised that we had no leftovers. A good meal was had by all. I served this dish alongside Cajun crusted chicken for Ian as it had a spicy kick to it from the jalapeño pepper and I had it with tuna mayonnaise. It would go so well with grilled pitta bread or even just on its own. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thanks Dana.
Polenta with Corn Succotash. (Serves 4 as side dish, 2 as main)
3 Ears of Corn (shave the kernels off)
1 Cup Grape Tomatoes cut in half
1/2 Red Onion finely diced
1 Cup of Tomato Sauce (I used passatta)
1 Clove of Garlic minced
1 Jalepeno pepper diced
1 Cup of Basil finely sliced
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan
If making the polenta from scratch make according to the package and allow to firm up so you can cut it into triangles. If like me you use the rolls of polenta slice up into 1cm thick discs. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile sauté the kernels and onion in a little oil until tender, season with S&P and allow to cool. Whilst these are sauteing marinade the tomatoes in a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper. When the corn and onion mixture is cool add the tomatoes, 1/2 cup of basil and the jalapeño pepper and mix to combine.
Pour the tomato sauce into a 9 x 13" baking dish. Sprinkle over the garlic and season with S&P if needed. Layer the polenta slices/triangles all over the base of the dish.. Evenly spread the corn, onion and tomato mixture over the polenta and sprinkle with Parmesan.. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes covered, remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes until the cheese has browned. Remove from oven, allow to stand for 5-10 minutes ans sprinkle with remaining half cup of basil. Et voila a gorgeous yummy summery dish.