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I’m dying for a new fridge; one where refrigerator is stacked on top of the freezer. Of course, this is a bit of a fanciful dream since there’s nothing wrong with my current refrigerator other than I don’t care for the style. But here’s why I don’t like the format where the freezer is on the left and the refrigerator is on the right: I feel like I never use the food in the bottom half. Since that includes the produce drawers, I often end up with an excess of produce that I need to use up all of a sudden, to avoid letting it go to waste.

This week I found that I had a bunch of cabbage and tomatoes that were at the use it or lose it stage, so I decided to make a dish with those ingredients. I was thinking about what to pair with it, because I felt like a proper dinner would need something to round it out and provide a little substance. I decided to go with polenta. I live in the south, so I consider grits a perfectly acceptable part of any meal and, as Alton Brown said, polenta is pretty much the same thing as grits. Polenta is just Italian, so it sounds fancier. (I’m sure there are many technical differences in how fine the corn is ground etc, but they’re both essentially made with some variety of cornmeal.)

So here we have it: a dish of cabbage and tomatoes served on a bed of polenta.

Ingredients:

6 C Water
cabbageandpolenta-71 3/4 C Cornmeal, ground fine
2 tsp Salt
3 Tbs Butter, unsalted
3 Tbs Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 head Cabbage, roughly sliced into approx 1/2 inch wide pieces.
3/4 lb Plum Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped (weight is after peeling and seeding the tomatoes)
2 Tbs Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, large
1/2 C Onion, thinly sliced
1/2 C Vegetable Stock
1 Tbs White Wine Vinegar
1/2 C Flat Italian Parsley, chopped

 

Instructions:

To make the polenta:

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Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add 2 tsp of salt to the water. Once the salt has dissolved,  slowly whisk in the cornmeal. If you dump the cornmeal in all at once, it will clump up and you’ll end up with lumpy polenta, so be patient and whisk it in slowly. Hold the polenta at a slow simmer, stirring occasionally at first and more frequently as the dish thickens (about 15 minutes).  Cook until the polenta has thoroughly thickened and then take off the heat. Stir in the butter and parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper, as needed. Set the polenta aside and keep warm until ready to serve the cabbage. As a note, if you do end up with lumpy polenta (like one impatient food blogger you might know), you can get a very smooth polenta by forcing it through a strainer. Make sure that the mesh is not too fine, or you’ll lose alot of the polenta goodness, but a medium mesh strainer will help you work out those lumps.
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Heat the olive oil in a large pot and saute onions for a few minutes until they start to turn translucent. Add the garlic and continue to saute until fragrant, but not browned.

Add the cabbage and continue to cook until slightly wilted, stirring the cabbage as necessary to get everything wilting evenly.

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Add the vegetable stock, give everything a good stir and cook, covered, for another 10 to 15 minutes. At the end of that, the cabbage should be nicely cooked down, but still have a little substance to them.

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Stir in the tomatoes and simmer until the tomatoes begin to cook down as well; about another 8 minutes. Stir in the parsley and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Remove the cabbage and tomato mixture from the pot, leaving behind the juices. Reduce the juices until almost dry and stir them back into the cabbage and tomato.

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Just before serving, spread the polenta across a serving dish to create a bed for the vegetables and pile the cabbage and tomato on top!

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Polenta with Cabbage and Tomato
 
Recipe By:
Ingredients
  • 6 C Water
  • 1¾ C Cornmeal, ground fine
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 3 Tbs Butter, unsalted
  • 3 Tbs Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1 head Cabbage, roughly sliced into approx ½ inch wide pieces.
  • ¾ lb Plum Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped (weight is after peeling and seeding the tomatoes)
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, large
  • ½ C Onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ C Vegetable Stock
  • ½ C Flat Italian Parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. To make the polenta:
  2. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add 2 tsp of salt to the water. Once the salt has dissolved, slowly whisk in the cornmeal. If you dump the cornmeal in all at once, it will clump up and you'll end up with lumpy polenta, so be patient and whisk it in slowly. Hold the polenta at a slow simmer, stirring occasionally at first and more frequently as the dish thickens (about 15 minutes). Cook until the polenta has thoroughly thickened and then take off the heat. Stir in the butter and parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper, as needed. Set the polenta aside and keep warm until ready to serve the cabbage.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot and saute onions for a few minutes until they start to turn translucent. Add the garlic and continue to saute until fragrant, but not browned.
  4. Add the cabbage and continue to cook until slightly wilted, stirring the cabbage as necessary to get everything wilting evenly. Add the vegetable stock, give everything a good stir and cook, covered, for another 10 to 15 minutes. At the end of that, the cabbage should be nicely cooked down, but still have a little substance to them. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer until the tomatoes begin to cook down as well; about another 8 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Remove the cabbage and tomato mixture from the pot, leaving behind the juices. Reduce the juices until almost dry and stir them back into the cabbage and tomato.
  5. Just before serving, spread the polenta across a serving dish to create a bed for the vegetables and pile the cabbage and tomato on top!
 

 

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