Sun-Dried Tomato Polenta

Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites

As written, this recipe produces a very low fat result. By using oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes and whole eggs instead of egg whites, I’ve upped the fat content just a little but the flavor is also boosted meaningfully. This dish makes a great vegetarian main course and can be accompanied by a steamed vegetable or a big salad.

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 1-1/4 cups organic yellow corn meal
  • 2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 eggs
  • Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Saute the onion, 2 garlic cloves and 1/4 teaspoon salt until onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and basil. Cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, bring the water, 3/4 teaspoon salt and the additional 2 minced garlic cloves to a boil. In a slow, steady stream, whisk in the yellow corn meal while stirring vigorously. Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The polenta will become very thick. Remove from heat and add the mushroom mixture to the polenta. Blend to combine and set aside.
  • Prepare a rectangular glass baking dish with a light coating of cooking spray. Spread the polenta evenly into the bottom, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or (preferably) overnight (see tips below).
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • To make the breading, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and parsley in food processor and process until well blended. (I forgot to do this step, which is why you see random large parsley leaves in my photo. The breading was difficult to work with given the big parsley leaves, so I recommend actually reading and following the recipe here rather than following my haphazard example. Hrmpf.) Pour onto a large dinner plate and spread evenly. In a shallow dish, beat the eggs lightly with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Finally, prepare a large baking sheet with a coat of cooking spray. Once you dip the polenta cutlets into egg and breading, you will place them on this sheet to bake.
  • Cut the chilled polenta into 12 even pieces by making one cut down the length of the pan, then cutting it across into thirds then finally each rectangle diagonally. Carefully lift each piece out of the pan, then gently dip into the egg and finally coat both sides with the bread crumb mixture. Place on the baking sheet.
  • Bake on center rack for 10 minutes, then turn carefully with a spatula and bake another 5-10 minutes until breading is golden and cutlets are heated through.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. If you are making this as a weeknight meal, I recommend preparing the polenta through the chilling step one day ahead. This cuts down on the prep time on the evening you are serving the meal and allows the polenta to be well-chilled before you cut it. I found that trying to do this all in one night made me want to rush the chilling process, which ultimately helps keep the cutlets together when you bread them and transfer them to the baking sheet. It’s best not to rush this step.
  • 2. I used sliced mushrooms. Chopping them more finely will help the cutlets stay together when you bread them and transfer them from baking dish to baking sheet.
  • 3. I like the 365 brand whole wheat bread crumbs available at Whole Foods. They are in the aisle with the baking supplies.
  • 3. I served this recipe as is, but you can also consider topping it with a little marinara sauce or pesto.

Preparation time: 1 hour(s) 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 35 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6, as a main course

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