Polenta with Roasted Vegetables and Sourdough bread

This is one of the best meals I've made in a long time, however I think it would be better during cold weather. The kitchen was sweltering and the polenta was incredibly filling. Both of these recipes were adapted with links to the original recipes in the titles.

Olive oil for pans, plus 3 Tbs.
1 cup broccoli florets, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 to 1 cup carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 small zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 small yellow summer squash, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 small sweet/vidalia onion, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 cups water
1 cup stone-ground polenta
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 cups shredded fontina cheese


Preheat an oven to 450°F. Oil a rimmed baking sheet and an 8-inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, zucchini, summer squash, carrots, and onion. Drizzle with the 3 Tbs. olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast, tossing once, until the vegetables are caramelized, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring the water to a boil and salt the water. Stirring constantly, very slowly add the polenta. Cook, stirring constantly, until the polenta begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is soft, about 25 minutes. Add the butter, Parmigiano-Reggiano and fontina and stir until the cheeses melt. Pour the polenta into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top.

Transfer to the oven and bake just until the polenta begins to set, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and top evenly with the roasted vegetables. Continue to bake until the vegetables are heated through, about 15 minutes. Serve the polenta directly from the dish. Serves 6.

2 cups warm water
1¼ teaspoon (1 packet) dry yeast
3½ cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
4 cups flour
2 teaspoon salt
1¼ cup water
1 cup starter, stir before using
1. In a glass bowl, add water and yeast. Mix the yeast into the water and let it sit for a couple minutes.
2. Add in the rest of the ingredients for the starter. Mix well until everything is fully incorporated.
3. Wrap the bowl with clear wrap, making sure not to tightly seal the bowl. Let the starter breathe a little and keep it in a dark place at room temperature. Stir once a day for 5 days until making the dough. The starter will rise and shrink each day and you should see bubbles, letting you know that the yeast is being activated!
4. On day 5, combine all ingredients into a bowl, and knead for 10 minutes on low if using a machine; if kneading by hand, knead for 20 minutes until dough is stretchy yet doesn’t stick to your hands.
5. Place kneaded dough into a large bowl with a towel over the top, and let it rise for 12 hours.
6. Place risen dough onto a floured board and knead for a few minutes. Place it into a proofing basket or a medium bowl and let it rise for another 4 hours.
7. Preheat oven to 480°F/250°C.
8. Flip the dough onto a parchment paper, and transfer the dough and paper into a large cast-iron dutch oven.
9. Score the top of the bread.
10. Place the lid on top and bake for 30 minutes.
11. Take the lid off and bake for another 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
12. Transfer onto a cooling rack and let it rest for an hour. Knock the bottom of the bread to listen for a hollow knock.
13. Enjoy it however you like!
Starter Maintenance:
1. Your starter will last forever as long as you maintain and care for it. It can stay in the fridge and be fed once a week with a teaspoon of sugar.
2. To replenish your starter, simply add 1 cup of flour and ½ cup of water, mix, and place it back in the fridge.
3. Leave it out overnight to get to room temperature before preparing the dough.


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