If there is one dish I need you to make this summer- it’s this. Freshly ground corn polenta topped with buttery farm vegetables and a drizzle of basil oil.
I know the idea of pureed corn kernels sounds weird, but trust me on this one. I first had the dish at a pop-up event put on by Sherrie last summer. One bite in and I knew this was something I couldn’t wait to go back and experiment with myself.
The concept is fairly simple. Shuck the fresh kernels, steam just enough to create a tender bite, then puree into a thick porridge. Put the whole mixture back into the saucepan and season with a bit of butter, salt and pepper. To keep things dairy-free, I used a vegan butter (Earth Balance ❤️), but the possibilities really are endless. Yotam throws feta in his version and I bet it would be equally divine with a little sharp cheddar, goat cheese or fruity olive oil.
While I could eat the entire bowl of polenta by itself (and, highly recommend this option often), this version gets loaded with even more vegetables. As I’ve said time and time again, when produce is as good as it is right now, why stop with just one ingredient?
Saute a little zucchini and cherry tomatoes until the are just softened. Like with the polenta, anything goes. Feel free to add in greens or another variety of summer squash instead. If it pairs well with corn, it should pair well with the polenta.
To finish the dish, I made a quick fresh basil oil to drizzle on top. Since the entire meal is basically vegetables, the extra drizzle of finishing oil seems like a necessary, yet luxurious touch. Chiffonade fresh basil, then press into good quality olive-oil, a pinch of red pepper flakes and sea salt. Save any extras for a salad dressing base or for freshly made hummus.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!Print
Fresh Corn Polenta with Farm Vegetables and Spicy Basil Oil. The vegan and gluten-free dinner is perfect for summer! Make the most of farmer’s market produce; fresh corn polenta topped with sauteed farm vegetables and a drizzle of spicy basil oil.
Fresh Corn Polenta
- 6 ears fresh corn
- 1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter (I used Earth Balance for dairy-free option)
Spicy Tomato and Zucchini Topping
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
- 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- pinch red pepper flakes
- Make the corn polenta. Shuck the corn and remove as much of the silk as possible. Slice the kernels into a large bowl, running the back of your knife along the bare cob to remove as much of the remaining kernels and milk as possible.
- Place the corn (and any juice) in a medium saucepan along with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, for 5-7 minutes until corn is just tender.
- Drain corn and place in a food processor along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Puree until very smooth, a polenta-like consistency.
- Return polenta back to the saucepan and simmer over low heat with the butter and additional salt/pepper as needed. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- Make the tomato-zucchini mixture. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot, cherry tomatoes and zucchini and cook until tomatoes have burst and the zucchini is slightly browned, about 7-8 minutes.
- Stir in the smoked paprika, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Season to taste and keep warm until ready to serve.
- Make the basil oil. Whisk together the basil, olive oil, minced garlic clove and pinch of salt and pepper. Season to taste, if needed.
- Assemble! Divide the polenta among 4 bowls, then top with tomato-zucchini mixture. Drizzle with basil oil and garnish with more basil. Enjoy immediately.