Tangy romesco meets creamy polenta.


Creamy Vegan Polenta with Romesco Sauce 

A really delicious sauce can make most any dish great, and this creamy polenta is no exception. Polenta is a cinch to whip up, and when topped with this sweet-smoky-tangy homemade Romesco sauce, dinner becomes a restaurant-worthy experience. Originating from the Catalonia region of Spain, Romesco is a classic sauce made with tomatoes, peppers, almonds, chili flakes, and fresh lemon. It’s so easy to make vegan and healthy, and this is my go-to recipe. Use it for everything!

Serves 2

What you need:

For the romesco sauce:

  • 2 red bell peppers, roughly chopped
  • 3 roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves 
  • ¼ cup raw almonds 
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • ¼ cup red chili flakes 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt 
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper 

For the creamy polenta:

  • 2¼ cups water 
  • ½ cup polenta
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • What you do:

  1. For the romesco sauce, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place bell peppers, tomatoes, and garlic on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. Transfer sauce to a blender or food processor, and add almonds, cashews, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, paprika, chili flakes, lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper. Blend until creamy, and set aside.
  3. For the creamy polenta, in a medium pot, boil water. Whisk in polenta and continue to whisk (to prevent lumping) for about two minutes, or until it begins to thicken. Reduce heat to low and whisk in salt. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer polenta to serving bowls and add romesco sauce. Garnish with parsley.

Healthy hints:

  • >> Romesco sauce is very versatile and can be used on top of roasted vegetables, pasta, as a dip for crusty bread, or as a spread on sandwiches. 

>> Roasting the peppers and tomatoes helps reduce the water content and concentrate the flavor. 

>> For an even creamier polenta, add a splash of unsweetened soy milk