My apologies to Ratatouille purists – this Ratatouille with Creamy Polenta recipe is a loose interpretation of the classic dish. Ratatouille is traditionally made with eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers and tomatoes. I was out of zucchini and I wasn’t interested in peppers.
However, I did have two beautiful eggplants. I considered making eggplant Parmesan, but decided the steps involved were too fussy. Salting and pressing the eggplant to remove excess moisture sounds like work. I settled on steam sautéing. All you have to do is chop and stir – which led me to freestyle this Ratatouille recipe.
Ratatouille with Creamy Polenta
My Creamy Polenta with Zucchini dish inspired this rendition. They share similar ingredients. I suppose you could combine the zucchini and eggplant and throw in some bell peppers and serve a more traditional Ratatouille over polenta.
The lesson here is there are no hard and fast rules. Work with the veggies you have on hand and see what you come up with. Just be sure to include some kind of legume to boost the protein.
You could also serve the Ratatouille over pasta, quinoa or rice… But the creamy polenta combo is extra satisfying!
Ratatouille with Creamy Polenta
- 1 cup corn meal coarsely ground
- 4 cups water
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 cup plant milk (I use organic fortified rice milk)
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- 1/2 cup vegan Parmesan cheese plus additional for topping - see recipe.
- 14.5 oz canned tomatoes with green chilies
- 15.5 oz canned kidney beans low sodium, rinsed and drained
- 2 medium eggplants chopped with skin on (about 6-7 cups)
- 1 Portobello mushroom large, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 onion large, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 cups braising greens chopped (kale, collard greens and/or chard)
- 1/4 tsp. garlic granules or garlic powder
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. dried marjoram
- fine sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Add 4 cups of water to rice cooker.
- Add cornmeal and crushed garlic and stir lightly.
- Close rice cooker and cook polenta on white rice setting. (It will take about 20-30 minutes.)
- When rice cooker beeps, carefully open the lid and stir the polenta. It should be thick and creamy.
- Slowly pour in plant milk while stirring.
- Add vegan Parmesan cheese and dried parsley and stir to mix thoroughly.
- Cover and keep warm if Ratatouille is not done.
- While the polenta is cooking, add diced tomatoes, eggplant, Portobello mushroom, onion, garlic granules, dried oregano, basil and marjoram to a 5-quart sauté pan, cover and cook on medium high for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Reduce to medium heat after about 5 minutes.)
- Add braising greens and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add kidney beans and continue cooking until veggies reach desired tenderness.
- Keep warm if polenta is not done.
- Place 3-4 ladlesful of polenta into 4-5 pasta bowls.
- Use a large slotted spoon to top each serving with 3-4 spoonsful of Ratatouille.
- Sprinkle with vegan Parmesan cheese and sea salt and ground black pepper to taste.
Note: I do not include nutrition information with my recipes because I subscribe to the theories presented in the book Whole and believe we should focus on eating a variety of whole foods instead of counting calories or keeping track of individual nutrients.