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Artichoke Ratatouille with Polenta

Difficulty: Medium

4

Servings

30

Preparation (min)

60

Total (min)

Ingredients

Ratatouille

  • 6 tbsp. (90 ml) olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 to 10 fresh artichokes, trimmed (see instructions below), OR 2x 398-ml cans artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 cup (250 ml) green olives, pitted
  • 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) chili flakes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cubed
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into cubes
  • 1 zucchini, cut into cubes
  • 1x 28-oz (796 ml) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup (250 ml) vegetable broth or water
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

 

Polenta

  • 4 cups (1 L) vegetable broth
  • 1 cup (250 ml) cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil
  • A pinch nutmeg or to taste
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) grated Parmesan cheese + extra for sprinkling
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation

Ratatouille

  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat olive oil.
  • Add onions and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 2 min.
  • Stir in artichokes, olives, chili flakes, yellow and red pepper, and zucchini.
  • Add tomatoes, vegetable broth (or water) and thyme. Season to taste.
  • Simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are fully cooked, about 45 min. Set aside.

 

Polenta

  • In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat, bring vegetable broth to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium and slowly whisk in cornmeal until mixture thickens.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 30 min, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Polenta is ready when it comes away from side of saucepan. If it becomes too thick, add some hot broth.
  • Stir in olive oil, nutmeg and Parmesan cheese, then season to taste.
  • Transfer polenta to a serving dish, top with ratatouille (warm or cold, to taste) and sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese to taste.

 

Artichokes

  • Using a serrated knife, cut off the prickly head of an artichoke and its fibrous bottom, then discard.
  • Using a paring knife, peel base and stem of artichoke, and remove larger outer leaves.
  • Using a dessert spoon, remove core from artichoke (the fuzzy centre part of the vegetable).
  • Transfer trimmed artichoke to a bowl filled with cold water and juice of 1 lemon (to prevent oxidation).
  • Repeat operation with the other artichokes.
  • In a large saucepan, bring water with a pinch of salt to a boil.

Drain artichokes and add to saucepan. Cover with a lid that’s smaller than the actual saucepan lid, to prevent artichokes from floating, so they will cook evenly. Cook for 5 min.

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