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Pan-fried Polenta with Vegetables


Aviva Goldfarb’s new book is out on April 13 (SOS: The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue) and you’ll be hearing more about it as that day and Earth Day approaches (the subhead: earth-friendly, kid-pleasing dinners for busy families), but for now, I wanted to share this recipe with you. The thing about Aviva’s recipes is that in her books and on the flagship website sixoclockscramble.com, her recipes are always quick and honest. And by that I mean…is there anything  more annoying than when a recipe tells you it takes 20 minutes, and yet, requires homemade veal stock or something that already required hours of work? That never happens with her weeknight meals. I had great success with this vegetarian one last week and prep and cook only took me 25 minutes. Just like she said it would.

Pan-fried Polenta with Summer Vegetables, adapted from SOS: The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue: Earth friendly, kid-pleasing dinners for busy families

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 tubes (36 ounces total) preapred polenta, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick circular slices

1 yellow onion, diced

1 zucchini, diced

6 sun-dried tomatoes, dry or marinated, sliced

1 cup tomato sauce

1/4 cup fresh oregano and/or parsley, chopped

1 cup shredded mozzarella or crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Preheat the broiler and set the broiling rack about 5 inches from the heat source. In a large nonstick skillet or an electric frying pan, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add polenta slices and let them get crispy and lightly browned, then flip and repeat on other side, about 5 minutes a side.

Meanwhile, in a heavy skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat and saute the onions and zucchini until they are tender; about 5 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, tomato sauce and herbs and continue to cook it, stirring occaisonally, for about 5 more minutes.

Spray a 9×14 inch rectangular baking pan, preferably metal with nonstick cooking spray. When the polenta is done, transfer the slices to the pan and top them evenly with the vegetable and tomato sauce mixture. Top everything with the cheese, and broil for about 3 to 4 minutes until cheese is melted and browned in spots. Allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.

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