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Polenta with broccoli and garlic



4 cups light vegetable stock, store-bought or homemade

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/4 cups cornmeal

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits


2 tablespoons olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 large bunch broccoli, cut into tiny florets, stalks peeled and diced (5-6 cups total)

1/3 cup water

3 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced


To make the

polenta, bring the vegetable stock and salt to a boil in a medium-size,

heavy-bottomed saucepan. Meanwhile, prepare all the ingredients for

this dish and set them out in front of you.

When the

stock boils, reduce the heat to low and very slowly drizzle in the

cornmeal, whisking constantly with a wire whisk. Continue to cook the

polenta, whisking continuously, until it is thick like mashed potatoes

and begins to tear away from the sides of the pot, about 5 minutes.

Whisk in the cheese and butter, cover the pot, then remove it from the

heat. The polenta can be kept like this for 10 minutes or so.

Heat the oil

in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper

flakes, and cook for 1 minute. Mix in the broccoli, toss well, then

pour in the water. Cover the pan and cook the broccoli until tender,

about 5 minutes. Remove the cover and stir in the tomatoes and salt to

taste. Cook, uncovered, for about 2 minutes, or until the tomatoes are

soft and most of the liquid has evaporated.

To serve, spoon a mound of polenta onto each dinner plate. Top with the broccoli mixture.

From Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin (HarperCollins Publishers)