Baked Polenta with Roasted Cauliflower and Figs

Cauliflower and figs may seem like an unusual combination, but when roasted together they create an earthy-sweet flavor combination that pairs perfectly when served over savory, rich polenta. Use the lid of Dutch oven flipped upside down so that the vegetables roast on top of the polenta for an ingenious one-pot meal.

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Baked Polenta with Roasted Cauliflower and Figs

  • Author: Dan Pelosi

What You’ll Need

Units Scale
  • 4 cups polenta or cornmeal
  • 2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups figs, halved
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh thyme leaves

What You’ll Do

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Fill a Dutch Oven or large pot with 6 cups of water and set over medium-high heat. Bring water just to a boil and add the polenta or cornmeal, and stir to combine. Turn heat down to low and whisk constantly until polenta thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Turn heat off and whisk in the parmesan cheese, heavy cream and 2 teaspoons salt. Allow polenta to cool slightly.
  3. Cut a piece of parchment paper slightly larger than the diameter of the Dutch Oven. Place parchment paper over the top of the Dutch Oven, and then invert the lid and place on top of the parchment paper (knob will be inside the pot).
  4. Place the cauliflower, figs, olive oil, honey, chili flakes, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper in a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. Spread the vegetables evenly onto the inverted lid.
  5. Place the covered pot in the preheated oven and bake until cauliflower is tender and figs are starting to caramelize, about 20-25 minutes. Remove pot from the oven, and let cool slightly before carefully removing the lid from the pot base and discarding the parchment paper.
  6. To serve, pour the figs and cauliflower from the lid onto the polenta and garnish with fresh thyme.