There's something incredibly comforting about a dish of creamy polenta. This recipe combines that comfort with crispy, oven-roasted chickpeas and vegetables like cauliflower and squash in a meal that deviates from your standard dinner. While this is a great meal on its own, it can be paired with a salad made from dark, leafy greens and a side of gluten-free bread.
Roasted Vegetable Polenta With Crispy Chickpeas [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Polenta:
- 3 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2 cups unsalted vegetable broth, or water
- 1 cup organic polenta
- Sea salt
For the Vegetables:
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 head cauliflower, any variety, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 3 cups bite-sized cubed butternut squash
- 3 green onions, both the white parts and green parts, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Black pepper
For the Chickpeas:
- 1/2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, or 1 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel, or sea salt
To Make the Chickpeas:
- Place the chickpeas in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover by 1 inch.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the chickpeas are tender, about 35 minutes.
- Drain and set aside on a clean dish towel to dry thoroughly.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
- Lay the chickpeas in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Roast in the oven until crunchy and light, and golden brown, about 40-45 minutes (or more, depending on how dried they were to begin with).
- Remove the chickpeas from the oven, and allow them to cool completely, about 20 minutes. Drizzle on the olive oil, paprika and salt. Toss well, until evenly coated. Set aside.
To Make the Polenta:
- Add the non-dairy milk, broth, and 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt to a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Add the polenta, like rain, into the saucepan, whisking vigorously to prevent lumps from forming.
- Lower the heat to a low simmer, and cook, uncovered, stirring often, so the polenta doesn’t clump, until soft (about 30-50 minutes depending on how thick you like it). Add black pepper, to taste and more sea salt, if desired.
To Make the Vegetables:
- While the polenta is cooking, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Add the cauliflower and squash to a large baking dish. Drizzle on the ghee and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and mix well.
- Roast in the oven until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and mix in the green onion, garlic, tomatoes, parsley, olive oil, and sea salt. Add black pepper, to taste.
- Separate the polenta onto plates.
- Top the polenta with the vegetables and crispy chickpeas. Sprinkle on any extra parsley. Drizzle on a little olive oil.
- Serve immediately.