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annapathy May 12, 2010 11:18 AM

I'm going to be making polenta for a BBQ this weekend. I had some ideas on what ingredients to use, but wanted to double check with you folks first. I'm making this polenta dish for a bunch of vegetarians/vegans, so, unfortunately - no cheese.

I'm planning on cooking the polenta with water, and olive oil. Prior to cooking, I was going to saute/caramelize shallots, garlic, and thyme with a tiny bit of sherry wine and olive oil. When the polenta's done cooking, I was going to add in the sauteed shallots, garlic and thyme to the polenta and pour it in a container to take on the shape I want for grilling. Do you think the combination of these ingredients would be tasty? I already bought shallots, and I'd like to use them with the polenta. Any hints/help/different variations, will be greatly appreciated! I'm really open-minded, s'long as it's tasty. :)

  1. NellyNel May 12, 2010 11:44 AM

    Crispy fried mushrooms would be a tasty addition!

    4 Replies
    1. re: NellyNel
      annapathy May 12, 2010 11:55 AM

      That would be!

      Maybe if I'll have time, I can include mushrooms, but I'm afraid there won't be any (other preparations and all).

      1. re: annapathy
        NellyNel May 12, 2010 11:59 AM

        I was thinking you could fry your shallots, garlic and mushrooms alltogether so as to make the mushrooms nice and tasty - and then no extra steps would be required!
        (while you're at it - you could toss some red pepper flakes in too!!

        1. re: NellyNel
          annapathy May 12, 2010 12:03 PM

          For some reason, I didn't put two and two together. I thought you meant mushrooms as a topping, not an addition - which actually sounds incredibly tasty!

          I will definitely consider this! Thank you.

          1. re: annapathy
            NellyNel May 12, 2010 12:09 PM

            Sorry I wasnt clear - but yes!!

            Yes it's really yummy!!
            You're welcome!!

    2. mrbozo May 12, 2010 11:54 AM

      Sarah Moulton has a simple, no fuss no muss recipe that works like a charm: http://tinyurl.com/3926g93

      4 Replies
      1. re: mrbozo
        annapathy May 12, 2010 11:58 AM

        Her recipe includes butter and cheese. Neither of which a vegan will consume.

        I appreciate the link, and might try it out for myself. Thanks!

        1. re: annapathy
          TongoRad May 12, 2010 12:05 PM

          I love the taste that butter gives the polenta better than cheese, and I also prefer cooking it with milk or cream for richness . I realize that these ingredients are verbotten, but do you think using vegan substitutions would go over well (like margarine and some sort of nut milk)? Then you could add your mushrooms, shallots, etc but have a flavorful base to build upon.

          1. re: TongoRad
            annapathy May 12, 2010 12:16 PM

            I agree with your preferences on cooking it with butter/milk/cream. I may sound odd, but I'd rather not use margarine because I hate it, and kind of well - refuse to eat it.

            I was considering almond milk and vegetable stock, but was half and half on it. Despite your love of milk and cream, have you ever used almond/soy/other nut milk in polenta? If so, how did it turn out?

            1. re: annapathy
              valerie May 12, 2010 01:35 PM

              I can't say that I have ever made polenta this way, but my son cannot tolerate a lot of dairy so for a solid year, I was making substitutions.

              If you are going to use a butter substitute, use Earth Balance. And I would definitely not use soy milk with polenta. Even the unflavored kind is, well, kind of flavored. Plain rice milk would be a better option, I would think. It's a little watery, though, but really doesn't have much flavor.

              IMHO, don't try to make substitutions on this one. Earth Balance is okay for butter, but fake milk or cheese, not so okay.

              This recipe calls for only 1 T of butter...


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