Monday, April 22, 2013

Polenta with vegetable ragout and roasted radish, carrot and cauliflower

As I'm sure you all know, I love cooking. I love experimenting with new vegan recipes and ingredients I haven't tried before. It's even better when my friends get in on it too.

I caught up with Ruth and Nhi today for a blogilates session (I feel like I can refer to my friends by their names now because I've already mentioned them a lot in previous posts and I can assure you they will be along side me doing new things in posts to come). We also decided to cook up dinner using whatever was in Ruth's kitchen, plus some mushrooms Nhi brought along. 

We jumped on a great recipe search engine called Yummly. What I really like about this website is that it searches pretty much every recipe there is on the web. What I like to do is find an ingredient in my kitchen which I will make the star of the dish and then search this along side other search words like "vegan". 

We found some radishes in Ruth's fridge, and because none of us have ever cooked with radish before, we decided to do a search for "vegan radish" in Google which lead us to a search for "vegan carrot radish" recipes on Yummly.

We scrolled through the recipes and found a recipe for polenta with spring vegetable ragout and roasted radishes and carrot. We had to make some changes to the recipes because we didn't have all of the ingredients...and we really wanted to eat the mushrooms so we added those to the ragout. 

It was so much fun cooking with the girls, and before we ate the food we did some blogilates workouts. Abs, thighs and asses were on fire afterwards!

The reward for all exercise was a delicious meal. We really enjoyed the recipes and we were so proud that we were able to cook this recipe from what food was available to us. What also really surprised us was how good the radishes tasted! I've always thought they were a bitter tasting vegetable, but when it's cooked, it actually has a lovely earthy taste with texture similar to that of any other root vegetable such as cooked parsnip. So go on and give radish a try today :)

Polenta with Vegetable Ragout

Serves 4
4 cups light vegetable broth or water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup polenta or yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic clove, minced
8 baby carrots (4 large carrots cut to desired size), trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
6 radishes, trimmed and cut into quarters
1/2 cup light vegetable broth or water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup slices mushrooms
1 1/2 frozen peas and corn
Any herbs (we used rosemary and a all purpose seasoning)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Additional olive oil and herbs for garnish

To make the polenta, bring the vegetable broth or water to a boil in a 2- to 3-quart pot over moderate heat. Add the salt and then slowly add the polenta while whisking. Reduce heat to low and continue whisking until the polenta is thickened. Cover the pot and continue cooking. Every 10 minutes, stir the polenta vigorously, scraping the sides of the pan. Continue cooking for 30-40 minutes until polenta reaches desired thickness and creaminess. Stir in the olive oil. Serve within 15 minutes.

Make the ragout while the polenta is cooking. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about a minute until fragrant. Add the carrots, radishes, vegetable broth or water, and salt. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are soft. Add the frozen peas and corn, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes. 

Remove from heat, stir in the herbs and lemon zest, and season to taste.

To serve, spoon the polenta into a shallow serving bowl or individual bowls. Make a well in the center of the polenta and spoon the ragout on top. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and garnish with herbs.

Roasted carrot, cauliflower and radish

Serves 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes


1 bunch small to medium radishes, about 12
12 baby carrots
half head of cauliflower cut into florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon paprika 
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Place the radishes, carrots and cauliflower on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, rosemary, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Roast until tender yet firm in the center, about 20 minutes. 

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