Cheesy Polenta with Roasted Broccoli, Cauliflower, Chickpeas and Scapes

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I will apologize again for the half-eaten plate of food. I know it’s probably not best practice in terms of food photography. Sometimes I get halfway through eating something and realize I want a record of it.

This recipe came from a craving for cheesy polenta and heads of cauliflower and broccoli in the fridge. Last year, I developed a newfound love of roasting veggies–such a great way to bring out all kinds of flavors. These items worked well really well together.

You’ll want to get the veggies roasting first:

1 small head broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces (I like mostly florets and a few thinly sliced stem pieces)

1-2 cups cauliflower florets

2 garlic scapes, sliced length-wise and cut in 3-4 inch pieces

1 15 oz. can chickpeas

3-4 T. olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

fresh lemon juice (1/2 of a large lemon)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Now, prepare the pans. I used a small cookie sheet and a pizza pan. For really easy cleanup, wrap the pans in foil.

Now, mix all the ingredients (except the lemon juice) together in a large bowl, making sure the veggies are well-coated.

Distribute the veggies evenly over the two pans, making sure you are as close to 1 layer as possible. Pop them in the oven and roast for about 30-35 minutes. Pull them out one time in the middle to stir them around and rotate the pans. You’ll know they are finished when you have several crispy brown areas and everything is pretty soft. Drizzle the lemon juice over the top and serve over the polenta.

While your veggies are roasting, prepare the polenta.

I use Bob’s Red Mill coarse polenta.

Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a large saucepan. When the water is boiling, add a tablespoon or so of salt. Whisk in 1 cup of polenta and turn down the heat. Cook, stirring frequently until the polenta is soft and the water is absorbed (about 10-15 minutes). I was lucky enough to have a parmesan rind in the fridge. If you are too, throw that in for the entire cooking time.

When your polenta is a little drier than desired consistency, add in 2 T. butter, a few T whole milk, salt, pepper, and 1/2 c. parmesan cheese if you didn’t have the rind (and maybe even if you did). Taste for creaminess and seasoning and alter as desired.

Serve this meal in a bowl with the veggies spooned over the polenta. Enjoy!

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