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A tower of polenta with vegetables and a creamy tomato coulis


You can really make a meal magical by adding a coulis. Sauces bring any dish up to a new level of greatness by adding another layer of flavor. In this dish, there is a creamy tomato coulis. A Coulis is a form of thick sauce used from strained or pureed fruits and vegetables. They are great over meat and vegetables. Here, it provides the foundation on which the polenta and vegetables rest. Once you break into the tower and everything falls in the sauce, the result with fill your mouth with flavor.

Polenta and vegetable tower
Photo by Wendy Monro

You can find polenta at your local Cub Foods location: 1200 S. Riverfront Dr, Mankato. Polenta is pretty bland on its own. However, if you cut it into slices and grill it, the crispy outside surrounding the creamy inside provides a perfect texture to so many dishes. Here, it is layered with cheese and vegetables.

Polenta and vegetable tower with a creamy tomato coulis:

Creamy tomato coulis:
3 C. tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. Sriracha hot chili sauce
½ bottle beer
½ tsp. thyme
2 Tbsp. cream cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

In a sauce pan, combine the tomato sauce and paste with the chili sauce. Mix well over medium heat. Add the beer and thyme. Allow to simmer for ten minutes to cook the alcohol out and leave the flavor in. Add the cream cheese and mix in until blended well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Form a layer on the bottom of the plate with this sauce.

Polenta and vegetable tower:
4 wooden skewers
1 package of polenta (in a tube), sliced
Tomatoes, sliced in half
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 C. mushrooms, sliced
1 C. onions, sliced
1 C. celery, chopped
1 C. peppers, sliced
4 slices of cheddar cheese.
A few sprigs of parsley

Grill the polenta for about ten minutes each side. For the last ten minutes, grill the tomatoes. In a sauce pan, over medium heat, pour in the olive oil. Sauté all of the vegetables until the onions become clear (about ten to fifteen minutes). Place four slices of cheese on four slices of polenta and let the cheese melt.

Place one slice of polenta on the sauce. Layer on the vegetables. Place another layer of polenta (with the cheese on top). Top that with a tomato half. Add another layer of vegetables. You will want to place the skewer into these to keep them from falling down. Add another polenta and you are finished. You can add a sprig of parsley on top to make it pretty.



  • Claudia Haas, Mpls Italian food examiner 5 years ago

    This is terrific - I tweeted it. I love the addition of sriracha in the sauce and it's so beautiful. I am also appreciative of the slideshow which shows me how to make such a lovely plating. On my "to do" list!

  • Elizabeth Kelly: Knoxville Healthy Food Examiner 5 years ago

    I'm a sucker for anything with sriracha, too.

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