Recipe Redo Blog

Traditional Recipes Redone…Healthier

Polenta Cake with Grilled Vegetables and Red Bell Pepper Sauce

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Healthful recipes from The Oaks at Ojai by Christine Denney

Today we have the excellent opportunity to share a recipe from Christine Denney– executive chef and Food Services Director at The Oaks at Ojai. This recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free and soy-free. There is even an option for vegans to modify the Polenta Cake by using a vegan cheese. So what’s not to love? We promise that this recipe will delight the tastebuds and have you thinking about eating well in an entirely different way. You’ll be astounded at how well being healthy can taste!


Polenta Cake with Grilled Vegetables and Red Bell Pepper Sauce


(6 Servings, 175 calories each)

  • ½ cup polenta or corn meal
  • 1 ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • ¼  cup grated  Parmesan cheese


Bring water to a boil and slowly add the polenta, whisking constantly.  Add the onion, garlic and olive oil and continue cooking for about 30 minutes.  (This is most easily accomplished in a double-boiler over hot water.)  While cooking, spray an 8 x 10 baking dish with a nonstick spray  or brush with a little olive oil.  Pour the cooked and thickened polenta into the pan, spreading evenly so that each round will be about ½ inch thick.  (If you brush your spatula with olive oil, it will be easier to spread.)

Refrigerate the polenta until set. (For this amount ½-1 hour should be plenty of time.)
After it sets, use a 2 ½-3 inch cookie or biscuit cutter to cut out rounds of the polenta.  Save the rest for another use or remold. (In lieu of a cookie cutter, you can use a small can—from beans, etc—and remove the top and bottom to make a cutter.)

On a baking pan (a cookie sheet works well), arrange the polenta circles.  On top of each, arrange the following: (for 6 people, one eggplant, 2 zucchini, 2 large portobellos)

1 slice grilled eggplant
1 piece roasted bell pepper
½ oz. mozzarella cheese
2 slices grilled zucchini
A few slices of grilled portobello mushroom or, if baby “bellos”, you can use the whole thing                                       ½ oz. mozzarella cheese (this is a small, thin slice—you can also use fresh mozzarella if you like.)

After layering, the polenta cakes can be refrigerated until you are ready to bake them.  If chilled add about ten minutes baking time.  If room temperature, they just need to heat through and the cheese needs to melt—about 30 minutes in a moderate oven at 350 degrees.
Garnish with freshly chopped basil and the following sauce—just puree it all in a blender or food processor:
½ cup roasted bell pepper
½ tsp. black  pepper
1 TBS. fresh basil
1 TBS. olive oil


Original article posted at The Oaks at Ojai.  To see more recipes from Christine, you can find her Chef Spotlight Page for Recipe Redo here.

Author: Debra K

I believe we all have the right to enjoy incredible looking and tasting cuisine.

One thought on “Polenta Cake with Grilled Vegetables and Red Bell Pepper Sauce

  1. Pingback: Christine Denney of The Oaks at Ojai | Recipe Redo Blog

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