I love to cook. Recently I read an article with a recipe that included polenta. I'd never eaten polenta and was intrigued. Then, on our local PBS station, America's Test Kitchen did a segment on how to prepare polenta. It's terribly time consuming and really didn't seem like it would be worth the effort. Toward the end of the segment they mentioned that you could buy pre-cooked polenta so I searched until I found some to try.
There were two different types of polenta available. One was a plain unseasoned polenta and the other was basil and garlic polenta. The second one sounded like it would be good in some sort of Italian dish, the plain one would work in the Mexican dish that I'd seen in the magazine, so I bought them both.
Today's kitchen experiment is now in my "keep this one" recipe file. It's super simple to make and even Fred said he liked it!
I placed layers of zucchini, thinly sliced grilled chicken, jarred tomato and basil sauce, good grated Parmesan cheese, and thick slices of polenta that I'd browned in butter and baked the dish for about 45-50 minutes. That and some good artisan bread with garlic butter was our supper this evening.
Don't use too much sauce since the zucchini releases so much liquid when it cooks. I think this would also be delicious if you substituted beef or Italian sausage for the chicken.
This year there are several zucchini plants in my little vegetable garden out back so having a new recipe to use some of it will come in handy.
Zucchini and Polenta Casserole
1/2 jar Classico tomato and basil sauce
1-2 zucchini sliced into rounds
1 grilled chicken breast, sliced thinly
6 slices garlic and basil polenta
Good Parmesan cheese
Spray casserole dish with Pam. Layer zucchini in bottom and top with a few spoons full of sauce and some grated parmesan cheese.
Next layer the thinly sliced grilled chicken breast, more sauce and cheese
Lightly brown the polenta slices in butter and place on top of the chicken. Spoon sauce over the top.
Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes at 350°. Uncover, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes to evaporate some of the juice from the zucchini. Top with more grated parmesan cheese and bake until cheese is brown.