Purple sprouting broccoli and polenta bake

Purple sprouting broccoli is looking great in the shops at the moment, such a beautiful colour! I picked some up for only 75p the other day, and really wanted to try a new recipe with it.
I thought it would be nicest to keep it whole, it’s such a pretty vegetable, so put my thinking cap on…
I was idly contemplating toad in the hole yesterday, and wondering about a vegan version.
So then I thought why not use the psb instead of sausages! So I thought about this a little more, and realised that polenta would be a better match than a batter… So it’s not toad in the hole at all, but with the psb, romano peppers, mushrooms and olives it’s a cheerful, tasty dish to brighten up the work day tomorrow.

purple sprouting broccoli and polenta bake

purple sprouting broccoli and polenta bake

serves 2, or 4 with a salad

4 – 8 stalks of purple sprouting broccoli
2 romano peppers, quartered lengthways and seeds removed
2 mushrooms, cut into wedges
60 g olives
150 g polenta, the quick cook kind
500 ml vegetable stock, I saved the water from blanching the vegetables
150 ml soy milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt and pepper
a little oil to grease the baking dish, and a little more for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c.
First blanch the psb and peppers. Bring around 600 ml water to the boil in a saucepan. Drop in the peppers and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes until slightly softened. I wanted to part cook the psb stalks but not the heads as they take so much less time. So I held the stalks only in the water for 3 minutes using tongs. This also preserves the colour, but you could drop them in whole if you like.
Drain the vegetables, reserving the water.
Tip the polenta into the pan along with 500 ml of the cooking water (or stock), soy milk, dried herbs, and nutritional yeast. Beat or whisk over a low heat for 5 minutes until thickened and smooth.
Rub a little oil into a 22 cm x 30 cm baking dish. Tip the polenta in and smooth it out, it will be a thin layer, barely 1 cm.
Arrange the psb, peppers, mushrooms and olives over the polenta, drizzle with oil and then bake for 25 minutes.
I’m serving it at room temperature, at which point the polenta will have set.

before cooking... the psb looks like lavender!

before cooking… the psb looks like lavender!

By E.

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