June 22, 2014

grilled vegetables with polenta croutons drizzled with a balsamic reduction

 Sunday afternoons are perfect for grilling out!  This recipe is simple and although it takes longer than some, most of that time is hands-off.  The balsamic reduction is a perfect addition to the vegetables and takes them from ordinary to unbelievable.  As the balsamic thickens the flavor sweetens, becoming less bitter.  It is delicious!!!  Besides all these yummy vegetables this recipe also features polenta which a health star!  The carotenoids from the milled corn are easier for your body to digest, rather than whole kernels, so you are able to absorb all the nutrients!  Yellow squash would also make a great vegetable for this dish and you could even throw in potatoes!
Servings 4-6
Total Time 40 minutes

  • 1 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 4-6 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 eggplant, cut lengthwise into thick 1/2-3/4 inch slices
  • 3 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise
  • 2 onions, cut into thick 1/2-3/4 inch slices
  • olive oil
  • sea salt (or kosher)
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 package of polenta 


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  Halve polenta lengthwise, then halve each piece lenthwise.  Slice each of the 4 sections 10 times, yielding 40 triangles.

 Evenly arrange triangles and then brush the tops with olive oil, flip them over and then brush with olive oil again.  (Another great way to do this is with a pump sprayer like the one shown.  You can add whatever oil you like without the chemicals from the sprayers sold at the stores.)  Bake for 30 minutes, until croutons are toasted on one side.  Flip croutons and return to the oven for 20 minutes.  While the coutons are cooking during this last segment begin the vegetables.  When the croutons are done remove from the oven.

While the croutons cook, simmer balsamic vinegar over medium heat until it reduces and thickens, approximately 25-30 minutes.  Set aside.  (It tends to quickly go from thickened to over done, keep a close eye on it during the last 10 minutes.  When it begins to thicken you will see it coat the spoon when tested, as shown in the picture.)  

Brush, or spray, the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill for approximately 2-3 minutes per side, or until tender.


Extra balsamic reduction... check out this recipe for roasted tomato grilled cheese.

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