Alrighty, so I want to get to this recipe and all, but first…
Can I rant/complain for like .89 seconds?
Ok, well it may take longer than that, but you know.
My family keeps sending me snapchats of all the things I am missing out on. Think laying in the sun by the pool, diving boards, BOUNCE houses (what the, what…no fare!), tubing on the lake, ice cream cakes, happy birthday songs, bike rides and basically all things summer… What am I doing??
Hanging in the rain, taking care of the goats and the chickens. Yes, I’ll admit I am totally having my own little pitty party right now. Just pass the tub of ice cream over please… and a blanket + a heater, cause it’s cold and rainy here in Colorado. Oh man.
Ok, pitty party over, at least the goats will hang with me.
Anyways, it’s honestly not as bad as I just made it seem, but like I’ve said in my last two posts, I am just missing my family a little bit. It’s cool though cause now I get all the food to myself.
Sharing was never one of my strong points anyway. Now I can have boat loads of creamy polenta, and all the eggs and summer veggies I want…grilled just the way I like um.
In all seriousness though, aren’t these caramelized farmers market veggies on herbed polenta kind of awesome?
I mean, I know there’s no meat, and that all the guys out there are probably disgusted in me big time (this includes pretty much all my brothers, their friends and then some), but this is so my kind of meal. It’s cozy, comfort food, but pretty healthy too, and chock full of summer produce. To me, meals like this are what summer is all about.
Simple, colorful and GOOD.
And umm, that browned harissa butter?
Just as amazing and dream worthy as it sounds.
The whole meal comes together pretty quick. While the polenta is cooking, you are grilling the veggies. Once you have the veggies cooked, it’s time to poach or fry those eggs (which are a MUST, you know how much I love a good egg).
Then you just put it all together. Oh but wait, you also HAVE to (like no excuses) brown some butter and mix it with some (preferably homemade) harissa. It’s a game changer guys.
SO…dinner in around thirty minutes, full of healthy things (well, minus the butter, but shh…no one needs to know about that), killer use of summer produce and just all around awesome.
Yup, winner, winner dinner!
Caramelized Farmers Market Veggies On Herbed Polenta with Brown Harissa Butter.
- 1 cup dry polenta
- 4 cups water or milk I like using 2 cups milk + 2 cups water
- 1/3 cup pecorino cheese grated (omit for vegan version)
- 1/2 cup fresh herbs (I used basil oregano, thyme, dill)
- 2 tablespoons butter omit for vegan version
- 1 bunch asparagus ends trimmed
- 2 in small zucchini sliced half long ways
- 2 in small summer squash sliced half long ways
- 1 inch eggplant sliced into 1/4 rounds
- 1-2 ears corn husk on
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4-6 poached or fried eggs for serving (omit for vegan version)
- edible flowers and fresh herbs for serving
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1-2 tablespoons harissa
To make the polenta. Pour the water and milk into a medium size saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is soft and thick, about 15 to 20 minutes. Keep warm and then just before serving, stir in the pecorino cheese and butter and season with salt and pepper. If the polenta seems a little thick you can add a tablespoon more of butter, milk or water to thin.
Meanwhile, preheat the grill to medium high heat.
Add the asparagus, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant and corn to a large sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup, chili powder, salt and pepper. Toss well to coat. Place the veggies on the grill and grill for 5-10 minutes, turning once or twice throughout cooking. The veggies are done when light char marks begin to appear. Remove from the grill to a serving plate. Once cool enough to handle, remove the corn kernels from the cob.
To make the harissa butter, melt the butter over medium heat in a medium size pot. When the butter begins to foam remove it from the heat and slowly add the harissa and whisk until smooth.
To serve, divide the polenta among bowls. Top with the veggies and a poached egg. Drizzle with harissa butter and garnish with fresh herbs. Serve with extra harissa butter. Enjoy!
*Inspired by the My New Roots Cookbook by Sarah Britton.
Take that family. Bet you don’t even come close to eating something this awesome tonight. <–Truth…maybe unless they went out somewhere awesome… and then well, UGH.