This casserole is a great way to showcase whatever summer vegetables you have sitting around. I made it with a bunch of veggies I got at the farmer's market, and tossed in a few leftovers from the fridge as well. Just be sure to keep the fire roasted vegetables and the polenta, and then top with whatever else you like. You could definitely make your own polenta to save a little money, but I opted for the prepared polenta from the refrigerated section at the grocery to save some time. This recipe only uses half a tube, so you can save the rest for breakfast - it's fantastic fried in a bit of butter and topped with syrup or stewed fruit.
Baked Polenta with Summer Veggies (adapted from Dana Treat, original recipe here)
2 ears corn, kernels cut from the cob
Salt and pepper
1 large tomato
Several leaves basil
2 tsp minced jalapeno pepper (more or less to taste)
1/4 cup chopped, steamed kale, squeezed dry (optional)
2/3 cup fire roasted crushed tomatoes (such as Muir Glen brand)
1/2 tube prepared polenta, sliced
Burrata or fresh mozzarella cheese, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Heat a little oil in a non-stick skillet. Add the corn and saute for a few minutes, until just tender. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
3. Coarsely chop the tomato, and then toss in a bowl in about 1 tsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Julienne the basil, then add to the tomatoes. Let marinate for about 5 minutes while the corn cools off.
4. Toss together the corn, tomato mixture, jalapeno, and kale. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Pour the crushed tomatoes into the bottom of a pie plate. Top with the polenta, spread into an even layer. Pour the veggies over, and spread into an even layer with a rubber spatula.
6. Place the pie plate on a sheet pan, and then bake until bubbly and heated through, about 25 minutes.
7. Serve with burrata or another fresh mozzarella cheese.