Friday, October 16, 2009

Scrambled Polenta (or, "Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery")

I know, right? It's genius! I was inspired to make this by Cupcake Kitteh's Vegan MoFo post from about a week ago. I love polenta, but don't make it very often, so I confess that the brilliant idea of using it in a scramble had never occurred to me. But it's so good! It's also dead simple, really fast--especially if you already have leftover cooked polenta--and makes a nice change from tofu. I put scallions, onions, mushrooms, red bell pepper and basil in our scramble because A. that's what was handy, and B. we like a lot of veggies, but go ahead and use whatever's available, and in less lavish quantities, if you wish. We also had some blue Sheese languishing in the fridge, which I figured couldn't possibly be a bad idea (it wasn't), so in it went. The result was creamy, delicious and a perfect late breakfast on a cool October morning; that said, I can see it making an appearance on the dinner table very soon, maybe with some pine nuts for a little extra excitement. (I should also mention that this makes a pretty huge amount, so you might want to halve it; then again, the leftovers were amazing!)

The Polenta
~6 cups vegetable broth (or water)
~1 3/4 cups polenta (coarse cornmeal)
~1 tsp. each: kosher salt, sage, thyme

~In a large pot, bring the broth or water to a full boil.
~Add the polenta, salt, sage, and thyme, stirring constantly (I used a whisk to prevent lumps).
~Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking--and stirring!--for 10-15 minutes, until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is soft.
~Remove from heat, then set aside to cool and firm up for about an hour.

The Scramble
~2 tbsp. olive oil or vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
~1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
~3 cups sliced mushrooms
~3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
~1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
~1/2 cup chopped, fresh basil leaves
~A few grinds of fresh black pepper
~1/2-3/4 cup grated blue-flavor Sheese, or other vegan cheese, depending on how "cheesy" you like things (optional)

~In a large skillet, melt the margarine (or heat the oil), and saute the onions over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until just beginning to brown.
~Add the mushrooms and bell pepper and continue cooking another few minutes.
~Add the scallions and black pepper and cook another minute or so, until the scallions are just wilted.
~Scoop in the cooled polenta, about a cup at a time, bashing it up and stirring to mix with the veggies.
~Keep the mixture moving so it doesn't stick to the pan; if it does, you can add a splash of water or broth to deglaze the pan and scrape up the bits.
~Add the fresh basil and the Sheese (if using), and stir to combine. After another minute or so remove from heat and serve hot. This was so good--and so filling--that we just ate it on its own, but you could easily make it the centerpiece of a more substantial meal with sauteed greens, roasted veggies or a nice green salad on the side


  1. Good call!
    I liked the look of this dish when I saw it over on Mandee's blog. I've never had polenta though so I can't imagine what it tastes like but it sure looks delicious.

  2. Oh wow. I'm in love with polenta rancheros but it never would have occurred to me to put polenta in a scramble either. Must try.

  3. This looks fantastic, will have to try.

    How completely delicious that we both blogged about not-tuna recently LOL. It is a great recipe :)

  4. Update: the leftovers were in fact astonishing, especially since Desdemona toasted pine nuts and refried the whole business. Now I'm hungry again.

  5. I made this and it is amaaazingly delicious. Thank you!