Seared Polenta – Vegan Life Issue 12

Have you tried polenta? I absolutely love the stuff! I love its texture and versatility. Plus it’s super cheap, so perfect for budget-friendly meals.

Seared Polenta with Colourful Salad Leaves, Hempseeds and Hummus

Since I’m such a fan of polenta, I  was really excited to see it featured in the January/February Issue of Vegan Life magazine

Vegan Life Issue 12

In my experience, polenta is incredibly easy to make from scratch, providing you use the right kind of cornmeal.

Polenta Grits

‘Cornmeal’ and ‘polenta’ are often used interchangeably; however for baked or fried polenta, you need to make sure you use ‘coarse’ cornmeal. A couple of times I’ve attempted to make polenta fries with fine cornmeal, but sadly it was a big fail. The mixture wasn’t sturdy enough to keep its shape and I ended up with a tray of baked goo (tasty goo at that!)

Check out the difference between ‘coarse’ and ‘fine’ cornmeal in the picture below. The ‘fine’ has a similar consistency to flour (I use it to bake cornbread).

Learning from experience, I now always make sure I use ‘coarse’ polenta/ cornmeal for baking or frying. In the UK, it’s available in Holland & Barrett and independent health food stores.

Coarse vs Fine Cornmeal

And the recipe that particularly caught my eye in Issue 12 of Vegan Life was this one:

Seared Polenta

I tried it for the first time a few weeks ago, and since then I’ve made it multiple times. It is so delicious! It’s been a huge hit with the family.

It’s incredibly easy to make. It’s simply a case of whisking the ingredients together over a gentle heat, scooping them into a square pan, refrigerating until solid, then slicing and pan frying.

Polenta Triangles

For lunches, we’ve served the Seared Polenta with a side salad of colourful leaves, a sprinkling of hemp seeds, pine nuts and a dollop of roasted tomato hummus.

For main meals, we love to serve it with this Quick Ratatouille.

Polenta with Char-grilled Vegetables in Tomato Sauce

If you haven’t made polenta before, you definitely should give it a try! And if you do so, please post your creations and tag me #BitoftheGoodStuff. I’d love to see them!

Big thank you to Myra & Marea Goodman and Vegan Life for sharing this delicious recipe. I know I’ll be making it time and again.

13 thoughts on “Seared Polenta – Vegan Life Issue 12

  1. This looks soooo dreamy, I must try it! Thanks for the info about the coarse vs fine polenta. I’ve only had polenta once before, prepared by a great chef that I used to work with and it was so incredibly delicious…I’m kind of kicking myself that I haven’t made myself yet! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. You must give it a try. It’s super easy to make and so versatile. I imagine there are all kinds of herb/spiced combinations that would work well with it.
      Next on my ‘to try’ list is your Cauliflower Buffalo Wings. They look amazing!! ♥

    1. It’s a pleasure! I always found it confusing too as both packets are labelled as polenta. At least you won’t make the same mistake as I did. With the coarse meal, it’s super easy to shape into fries or triangles x

  2. I love polenta too!
    Oh and I finally saw a copy of that magazine in one of our newsagents! It’s good to see international vegan material spreading around the globe 🙂

  3. Made this today……tastes lovely, but……after I have pan fried it the polenta goes really soft and gooey – it doesn’t look firm like yours. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong?

    1. Hi Laura!
      I’m glad you enjoyed the taste of the polenta, but I’m sorry to hear it went soft and gooey. This definitely isn’t how it should turn out. The first step is to make sure that you were definitely using coarse polenta (as per the pictures at the top of the post)… fine polenta, in my experience, doesn’t firm up. If you could email me a photo or link to the polenta you used, I may be able to work out whether it’s the right one to use. email – goodstuffsharon (at) gmail.com
      Best wishes, Sharon xx

  4. Hi, I just wondered what the polenta in the first picture is served with? That sauce looks amazing! I’d love the recipe! Thank you for your amazing ideas and instructions, now I can finally cook polenta! 🙂 xxx

    1. Hey Beth!
      I’m so pleased that you’re enjoying the polenta! ☺️ I think the sauce in the first picture is this serving suggestion mentioned under the recipe… ‘Tomato sauce with Mediterranean chargrilled vegetables’. Here’s how I make it: simmer a can of organic chopped tomatoes, couple of handfuls of frozen Mediterranean chargrilled vegetables, 2 TBSP of sun-dried tomato paste or pesto, 1 tsp sugar for about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add a sprinkling of nutritional yeast before serving.

      I typically use some frozen chargrilled vegetables from Waitrose, but you could use whatever veggies you liked (just chop them small).

      Enjoy! xx

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