Polenta with Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes & Aromatic Herbs
It's June in Frankfurt, Germany... and to think that the day started off so sunny and bright and then ended so dark, rainy and cold... all I can say is, brrrr!
So, being as I was soaked through by the time I walked home... AND freezing cold, I decided to put the thoughts of those salads and other Summer dishes on hold and make myself something warm!
I was originally contemplating making a bulgur dish with tomato and zucchini, something light and Summery... a salad, basically- but alas, it seemed that it wasn't meant to be!
Something warm was suddenly the order of the day, so I quickly began improvising and before you know it, this wonderful dish of goodness was ready. In just 20-25 minutes, steaming and hot and delicious and pretty to boot!!
Made from just a couple of cups of polenta, a dozen cherry tomatoes, 1 medium sized zucchini, a Spring onion and some mixed herbs: rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley and basil, I soon had a warm and hearty dish to chase those rain clouds away!
Not that this wouldn't have been a perfect, if somewhat simple supper at any time of the year, it was absolutely the right thing to have on a chilly Summer evening!
Of course, the polenta was the first thing that needed to be prepared and I decided to make mine using a vegetable broth. The ratio for mixing polenta meal to liquid is around 3 parts liquid to 1 of polenta. So as soon as I had brought my 6 cupfuls of broth to the boil, I gradually sprinkled and stirred-in the polenta, reduced the heat to a gentle simmer and let it gently bubble away for the next 15-20 minutes whilst I prepared the tomato and zucchini. And yes- it did need an occasional stir! lol!
I cut up the zucchini into a coarse dice, the Spring onion into slices and the cherry tomatoes into quarters or sixths, depending on their size, but roughly into pieces that were the same size as the zucchini.
I started off by gently frying the zucchini, together with the onion and the rosemary, until it started to soften and become a little translucent- just 3-4 minutes. I seasoned with pepper and grated nutmeg.
I then added the diced tomato and 2-3 sprigs of parsley, finely chopped- stalks and all! That is all good flavor that you don't want to miss-out on!
Once the tomato was added, I seasoned with a little salt and sugar to taste- salt for seasoning and just a pinch of sugar to bring out the best of both the tomatoes and the zucchini and to lightly caramelize and make everything super delicious!
After just 9-10 minutes of cooking at the most, the tomato and zucchini mix was ready to serve up and spoon over the hot polenta. I now added the last of the herbs- the more delicate oregano and thyme and the basil as a garnish, along with a fresh grinding of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and a light squeeze of lemon juice- and yes- the result was hot, tangy, fruity and delicious in the extreme!
Simple but yummy stuff- and who could really want for anything more? Not me and that's for sure! I just grabbed my spoon, dug right in and enjoyed!
Quite simply... Yummy! :-)