Monday, August 24, 2009

Creamy Polenta with Smoked Sausage and Summer Vegetables

My garden is at the point where I am picking many tomatoes and peppers every week, so I wanted to come up with something quick where I could use up a mixture of these vegetables. Based on the ingredients in my pantry, and refrigerator, I came up with this quick meal of cheesy polenta with sauteed vegetables and smoked turkey sausage. This meal came together very quickly, which makes it perfect for a weeknight. The polenta was creamy, and the goat cheese added a nice bite to it. The summer vegetables added a sweetness to balance the cheesy polenta and the salty sausage. This is the first time I tried something like this, but I will be making it again


  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • pinch sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 1/2 oz soft goat cheese

Smoked Sausage and Summer Vegetables:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup diced peppers (I used one Anaheim and one jalapeno pepper, but red or green bell pepper would work as well)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups corn, fresh or frozen
  • 8 oz. smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1 inch slices

For the polenta:

Bring the water and salt to a boil, and slowly whisk in the polenta, add the pinch of sugar. Bring the mixture back to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until the polenta is soft and creamy, about 10 to 15 minutes, whisking frequently. Turn off the heat and whisk in the butter and goat cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the smoked sausage and vegetables:

Heat one tablespoon of olive olive over medium heat, then saute the onion and peppers until soft, but not browned, about 3-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and corn and heat through, season lightly with salt and pepper (the smoked sausage and polenta will be salty, so be careful not to over season), about 3-5 minutes more. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add the second table of olive oil to the same pan and cook the smoked sausage until it is browned on both sides, and 5 minutes total. Add the vegetables back to the pan to rewarm them.

To serve: whisk the polenta in case it has started to set up, then divide the polenta into four bowls and top with 1/4 of the sausage/vegetable mixture. Enjoy!

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