Polenta Topping No. 4: Winter-Vegetable Saute

2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups julienned carrots
2 cups julienned turnips
2 cups cauliflower florets
6 to 12 pieces prepared polenta (frozen or fresh; see related recipe)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 large, fresh garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 cups sliced leeks (white and pale-green portions; about 2 medium-to-large leeks)
1/3 cup fresh, chopped, herb combination (basil, chervil and parsley is a nice mixture)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

You could omit following step (blanching vegetables), and just saute vegetables (starting with firmest ones and adding more tender vegetables a little later) but this step helps make final preparation go quickly and seamlessly.

Blanch the broccoli, carrots, turnips, and cauliflower separately in a large pot of boiling water. You can do this by lowering each batch into water in a strainer and lifting each batch out as soon as vegetables are tender but still holding their shape (broccoli will only take about 1 minute; carrots and turnips, about 3 minutes; cauliflower, about 2 minutes). Using a large, slotted spoon, remove each batch to drain in a colander and rinse under cold, running water to set color and stop cooking process; set aside.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and leeks and saute until leeks are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the herbs and blanched vegetables, and saute just until heated through, about 1 minute. Transfer vegetables to a warmed bowl, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and toss; cover to keep warm; set aside.

To serve, remove the roasted polenta from oven and place 1 to 2 pieces on each plate. Top polenta with a serving of the sauteed vegetables. Pass additional Parmesan at the table.

Makes 6 servings.


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