Soft Polenta and Root Vegetables
April, 2006

Serves 4 / For special occasions, I use a freshly milled polenta mail-ordered from Anson Mills in South Carolina ( With its delicate processing, the grain's flavor is what used to be available when every community had a mill and all grains were freshly ground. When cooking a more readily available product, I like to use a coarse-ground cornmeal, sometimes labeled "grits."

4 carrots
4 parsnips
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup cornmeal
4 cups cold water
Salt and pepper
Prepared organic pasta sauce, warmed

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Scrub carrots and peel parsnips. Lightly oil with some of the olive oil (or use a spray). Transfer to a roasting pan and cook until tender, about 35 minutes.
2. In a medium-large saucepan, mix cornmeal into cold water. Add remaining olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until cornmeal has thickened to a creamy, mashed potato-like texture, about 20 minutes. Chop roasted vegetables and add to cooked cornmeal (polenta). Serve topped with warmed pasta sauce.

PER SERVING (with 1/4 cup pasta sauce): 326 cal, 25% fat cal, 9g fat, 1g sat fat, 0mg chol, 6g protein, 58g carb, 11g fiber, 264mg sodium