Spring Vegetable Polenta Bake

There are several steps to this recipe, so it’s not one to make last minute.  But it’s an easy way to turn a CSA box into a substantial meal.

Follow the directions to cook 1 C. dried polenta (different polentas use different amounts of water).  Add 1 T. olive oil and 3 T. minced green garlic leaves to the water.  When it starts to thicken up, season with plenty of salt and pepper to taste.  Add 1 C. grated gruyere cheese (you can also use goat chevre) to the polenta and stir it in to combine.

Meanwhile, clean and trim leeks to make 2 C.  Saute in a large skillet in 2 T. olive oil over low heat until very soft.  Add 2 C. sliced portabello or crimini mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.

When the polenta is creamy and thick, pour it into a bowl and then refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.

Empty the leeks into a 9×13 baking dish.

Trim 1 bunch of asparagus, then cut into 1 inch pieces.  Cut pieces thicker than your index finger in half lengthwise.

Trim the ends off 3-4 small heads of broccoli, then peel the stems.  Chop the the stems and florets roughly the same size as the asparagus.

(Optional:  Shell 1/2 lb. English peas).

Toss the vegetables in a bowl with 1 T. olive oil plus salt and pepper.  Then arrange on top of the leeks.

Mince green garlic stems to make 3 T. and sprinkle over the veggies.

Using a large spoon, transfer the polenta to the baking dish and cover the vegetables completely with it.  Use the spoon to smooth the polenta out.

Top the polenta with more grated Gruyere cheese.

Bake the casserole for 30 minutes, or until the top is browned and bubbling.  Serve hot with a salad.


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