Vegan Polenta Lasagna

The organic coarse ground corn meal available from Coke’s Farm makes a particularly flavorful polenta for this dish.

INGREDIENTS:

POLENTA
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 quarts vegetarian chicken broth
3 cups cornmeal
1 ounce vegan soy margarine
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano leaves

TOMATO SAUCE
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup diced yellow onion
2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon dry oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dry basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup julienne sundried tomatoes
1 cup canned diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

TOFU FILLING
1/2 lb. crumbled Wildwood organic firm tofu
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dry basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

SPINACH
1/4 lb. baby spinach leaves
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

METHOD:

PREPARE THE POLENTA
In sauce pan, sauté the garlic in olive oil, cooking over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and black pepper and cook 1 minute more. Add vegetarian chicken broth and bring to boil. Whisk cornmeal into boiling broth in a slow stream, stirring constantly. Simmer over low heat stirring often until polenta is tender and pulls away from side of pan. Remove from heat and add soy margarine and oregano leaves. Stir to blend thoroughly.

Pour polenta into two 10″ x 12″ pans sprayed with pan release and spread in even layers. Cool in refrigerator until ready to use.

PREPARE THE TOMATO SAUCE
Soak sundried tomatoes in hot water (not listed in recipe) for 20 minutes and drain excess water. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add oregano, basil, thyme, black pepper and salt; cook 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes (with juice), crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and drained sundried tomatoes. Simmer 20 minutes. Add brown sugar and balsamic vinegar and stir well. Keep hot.

PREPARE THE TOFU
Sauté crumbled tofu in olive oil until it starts to brown. Season with basil, oregano, pepper and salt and cook 1 minute more. Hold hot.

PREPARE THE SPINACH
In sauté pan cook garlic in olive oil until translucent over medium heat. Add washed and dried baby spinach leaves and wilt. Add salt and pepper. Drain any excess liquid. Keep hot.

ASSEMBLE THE LASAGNE
Spread half of tomato sauce in even layer over one pan of polenta. Top with tofu mixture. Top with sautéed spinach. Spread remaining half of tomato sauce in even layer. Carefully remove polenta sheet from second pan and place on top of layers in first pan with the top side up. Cover with foil.

Bake in 350° oven for 35 minutes. Check for internal temperature of 165°. Cut 3 x 4 inches for 12 portions.

YIELD: 12 servings

SOURCE: UCSC

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