Polenta is another one of those tricky things that vegans commonly think they can’t have because its always made with dairy. But, hey man, you can have it, too! All we need to fix this problem is some soy cream/milk, vegan butter, and a little vegan parmesean! This recipe is great for a summer appetizer to an Italian feast, but it can also be a main course if you like! Check it out:
Ok, first, lets prepare the polenta - because its the part that takes the longest. What I do is out with a tiny bit of olive oil in a medium sauce pan and get the onion and garlic nice and golden. Then, add the first 2 cups of the broth, along with the dry polenta and stir that in. In a perfect world, we could just buy the polenta already made, but we're tough - we do it ourselves. Besides, its probably made with chicken stock (ew) and this will give you the feel of being a real Italian chef, anyway. So, whisk in the dry polenta and keep adding stock until its got the consistency of a thick soup, with no lumps. Turn down the heat and keep stirring/adding more stock until the polenta is cooked thoroughly (it won't takes as gritty as it does when its not cooked, that's how you know its getting close). When its getting close to being done, it will start to go a bit lumpy. That's where the soy cream/milk and butter come in. Add a big ole spoonful of butter and pour some cream in. Also throw in some salt and pepper. What you should have by now is going to look a lot like porridge. Finally, add some of that vegan Parmesan if you want, and then pour the mixture into a baking sheet that is about 1 in. deep. Spread it out with a spatula and put it in the freezer to stop the cooking process. You will want to leave it in there for about half an hour.
Now, lets get the veggies ready. Heat your bbq grill and get that going. While thats heating, brush your veggies with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. The tomatoes will need to be tossed with olive oil and put into the broiler for about 5 minutes. They are going to be the topping on the polenta, so they need to be cooked and slightly charred. You can do this now, or do it at the final stages. But I prefer to do it before anything gets grilled so its one less thing you have to worry about.
Remove the polenta and use a ring mold to cut out some polenta circles. If you don't have a ring, you can just cut it into squares, but circles are COOLER! Brush each side liberally with olive oil. Place the veggies on one side of the grill and then place a couple of your polenta pieces on the grill. Now, don't freak out if it starts to stick, its going to. The trick is to let it cook long enough so that the polenta starts to separate itself from the hot grill. This will happen, and you'll be left with some really nice grill marks on your polenta if you have patience. Don't walk away from it, though. The minute you walk away from the grill, thats when it all goes pear shaped. Remember while you're waiting to flip and rotate your grilling veggies.
When its all said and done, plate assembly goes like this: Polenta on the bottom, broiled tomatoes on polenta (crush them up a bit as to make a tomatoey sauce), top with grilled veggies, and then throw a few of the basil leaves on top for a garnish. Bada-bing! You did it!