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I can’t begin to tell you how much I love Moosewood. For those who don’t know what Moosewood is, it’s a restaurant located in Ithaca, NY. Home of Cornell University and Ithaca College, Moosewood is best known for their vegetarian menu that is derived new each day. Ingredients are purchased locally and in season to bring out the best in each dish served. While visiting friends in Ithaca, I entered Moosewood because it was on the top ten things to do while there. After dinner, I purchased five cookbooks. I kept two and gave each of my three daughters a cookbook of their own. The best part is the ingredients are “normal” goods a typical cook will have on hand. To me, that is key to ease of preparing meals in a timely manner.
I’ve made this dish many times, and it’s a family favorite. Over the course of preparation, I have omitted some of the cheese as it calls for more. Fee free to add more if you like, I’m trying to cut down on cheese as a personal preference. Dairy is a known inflammatory agent which has been linked to many chronic diseases. By the way, it is still delicious without the extra calories and fat of the extra cheese!
- 4 cups water
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 TBS olive oil
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ cups cornmeal
- (½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed (set aside for at least 10 minutes)
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 3 cups stemmed and chopped kale or spinach or combination of both
- 3 cups sliced mushrooms, white or cremini
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella or mild provolone cheese, or a mixture of both (2 cups in original recipe)
- 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
- 1/3 cup fresh basil
- (½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese)
Put the water, salt, olive oil, oregano, and red pepper flakes in a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Whisk in the cornmeal as you pour into the boiling water in a steady stream. Bring back to a boil; reduce the heat to a very low simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the texture is smooth and creamy, 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese, if using.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and oil a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Spread the polenta evenly in the pan and set it aside while you prepare the vegetables.
In a large pot or skillet on medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions, garlic, salt, oregano, and black pepper, cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the mushrooms and cook covered, about 5 minutes. Add greens, still until combined. Cook, covered, until the greens have wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
Sprinkle ½ cup of mozzarella over the polenta. Spread the cooked vegetables evenly on top. In a small bowl, mix together the tomatoes and basil and then spread the mixture on top of the cooked vegetables. Finally sprinkle the remaining ½ cup mozzarella evenly over the tomato-basil layer.
Cover the casserole dish and bake for 10 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese is golden brown and the casserole is thoroughly hot, about 10 more minutes. Let the casserole sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes
Adapted from Moosewood Restaurants Favorites
If you are looking for a hearty vegetarian patty that is gluten free, look no further. It's crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. It's sure to please even the pickest of eaters!
Full of rich flavor, this recipe will become one of your new favorites. Double the recipe and freeze a portion for another time. It will help make work night meal time easier and healthier.
It's also easy to substitute ingredients in and out of this one without much notice.
LIVE BETTER, LONGER
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