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Baked Vegetable and Cheese Polenta


4 1/4 cups water
a 14 1/2 ounce can chicken broth
3/4 cup thinly sliced scallion
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (1 ear of corn)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1-3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
8 ounces mozzarella, cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 2 cups)
1 medium zucchini, scrubbed and diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter


Butter a 9-inch square baking dish. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bring the broth, scallion, corn and thyme to a boil in a large heavy saucepan. Stir together in a bowl, the corn meal and the water and add to the broth, stirring. Simmer the polenta, stirring, for 10 minutes and add salt and pepper.

Remove from the heat and stir in the zucchini, and tomato. Add the cheese and basil, stirring just to combine and pour into the baking dish. Dot the top with the butter. (The polenta can be made a day in advance, kept covered and chilled.)

Bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 30 minutes more or until golden.
Serves 8

From Leslie Glover Pendleton


This polenta is as comforting as mashed potatoes and tasty as a vegetable salad. Try adding your favorite vegetables, greens, and herbs. It even makes a great brunch dish and can be served with everything from eggs to roast beef.