If rich and creamy polenta is something you typically reserve for cold winter nights, this vibrant bowl will convince you to make it year-round. It packs in a serious cheesy flavor thanks to a few spoonfuls of nutritional yeast, while cauliflower rice keeps it on the lighter side. It’s partnered with a tender mess of sautéed greens (and their stems!) and a punchy herb-packed sauce. If the greens are still attached to the beetroot, go ahead and cook them up with the chard.

Cauliflower-Polenta Bowls with Greens [Vegan]

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Ingredients

For the Bowl:

  • 1 bunch red beets
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) avocado or extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large or 2 small heads fennel (about 1 pound [455 ])), trimmed and chopped
  • 2 cups (240 g) cauliflower rice
  • 4 cups (960 ml) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup (140 g) coarse cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons (15 g) nutritional yeast
  • 1 large bunch rainbow chard, greens and stems chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 recipe Chimichurri Sauce
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) toasted pumpkin seeds

For the Chimichurri Sauce:

  • 1 packed (16 g) cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1/2 packed cup (30 g) fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) extra virgin olive oil
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Preparation

For the Chimichurri Sauce:

  1. Add the herbs, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times until the herbs are finely chopped.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil and process until well combined, about 1 minute.

For the Bowls:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC or gas mark 6).
  2. If the greens are still attached to the beetroot, separate, wash thoroughly, and set aside to cook with the chard. Scrub the beets, then peel and cube. Place the beets on one side of a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the oil, and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss the beets. Place the fennel on the other side of the baking sheet, drizzle with ½ tablespoon (7.5 ml) of the oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the cauliflower rice, season with a pinch of salt, and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal and a generous pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low and stir constantly until thickened, about 2 minutes. Cover and cook, stirring every 10 minutes and scraping the bottom and corners of the pot, until creamy, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the nutritional yeast.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon (7.5 ml) oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the rainbow chard greens and stems (and beet greens, if using) and a pinch of salt, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
  5. To serve, divide the polenta among four bowls. Top with the chard, roasted beets, and fennel. Spoon the Chimichurri Sauce over the top and sprinkle with the toasted pumpkin seeds.
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