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Vegetarian Polenta Pie

Layered polenta, veggies and vegan cheese.

An easier savory vegetarian pie than this you won't find. It's a simple fresh recipe that rocks. I made it to celebrate.

We just got back from my three-month post-op check-up. The hip looks good. "I gained ten pounds," I said to my hunky surgeon, Brant, as he was lifting my left leg in the air and poking me in the pelvis.

"So what?" he snorted and turned to Steve. "These tall skinny chicks. Ten pounds."

"I thought you'd be proud of me," I countered. "You know- that whole, You fit the broken hip profile thing you said to me? Female. White. Skinny. Vegetarian. (Celiac!)"

"Yeah, well. I gotta give you shit about something," he said.


Vegetable Polenta Pie

The cheese in the photo is rice-based. But if you can handle dairy, real cheese would work. Goat cheese would be fabulous. The vegetable filling is flexible, too. I used what I happened to have on hand. Layer your own favorites and season with herbs, chopped garlic, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Ingredients:

Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 package/roll of cooked polenta, room temperature
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1 heaping cup artichoke hearts (if frozen, thaw first)
2 cups raw baby spinach leaves- or sliced zucchini
2-3 medium vine-ripe tomatoes, sliced thick
1/2 cup green or black or Kalamata olives, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Balsamic vinegar
Herbs- basil, thyme, oregano, etc.
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
A 6 to 8-oz. package of vegan cheese, sliced- or sliced Jalapeño Jack, Parmesan or Cheddar

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly oil a pie plate.

Slice the roll of polenta into thin slices and line the pie plate, overlapping the polenta slices slightly to form a sort of "crust".

Next- you have a choice...

  • If you enjoy your veggies crisp, with an al fresca flair, layer the uncooked veggies into the pie dish; drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  • If you prefer a softer, more cooked texture, stir-fry the veggies first in olive oil (except the tomatoes), until barely tender; then layer them into the pie.

Top the veggies with garlic; season with herbs, sea salt and pepper; add the tomatoes; season; sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and more extra virgin olive oil, to taste.

Top with cheese slices.

Add extra artichoke hearts and olives in the center, if you like.

Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or so until piping hot.

Serves 4 (or six as a side dish).



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