All the world is nuts about
This voluptuous polenta dish, with its enticing eye appeal, was created when I happened to have on hand some homemade Hummus and Basil Butter. Notice that the Basil Butter contains no oil, yet still possesses the creamy mouth feel and delicious pungency of traditional basil pesto. To make this recipe come together with ease, prepare the Hummus and Basil Butter a day or two ahead.
An enjoyable and very hearty main dish, the polenta needs nothing more than a salad of mixed greens to accompany it. If you prefer to dress this dish with a touch of red, add a diced red bell pepper when cooking the Veggie Mountain. Alternatively, garnish with pomegranate seeds or a dollop of tomato sauce.
BASIL BUTTER POLENTA WITH VEGGIE MOUNTAIN
Yield: 6 servings
1/2 cup (120 ml) unsweetened soymilk or nutmilk
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (240 ml) coarse cornmeal (polenta)
1/4 cup (60 ml) tahini
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (480 ml) lightly packed fresh basil leaves (about 4 ounces--115 grams), washed and patted dry
1/2 cup (120 ml) raw cashews
2 1/2 tablespoons red miso
1 clove garlic, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 yellow pepper, diced
2 Indian or 1 Japanese or Chinese eggplant, diced
1 cup (240 ml) chopped broccoli
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons water
Salt and pepper
1 lemon cut in half (optional)
Note: The advantage of Basil Butter over traditional pesto is its mild nature. The basil's flavor still shines through, yet doesn't overpower the vegetables, polenta, or the Hummus.
Suggestion: When using the Basil Butter as a spread or topping over pasta, baked potatoes, or whole grains, consider adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to add a tangy touch.
Leftovers: Hummus and Basil Butter are the makings of a seductive sandwich. Start by spreading whole grain bread or sprouted wheat bagel with a layer of Hummus. Top with Basil Butter. Then, finish with a thick slice of tomato and greens like spinach or romaine.