Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta With Ratatouille

Story by Holly
Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta With Ratatouille
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Recently, I’ve received a lot of questions about how Natalie and I go about planning the dishes we share on the blog. It just so happens that it’s my favorite thing about being part of the Modern Proper team. The planning! Natalie and I knew we’d work well together when we discovered we both had a knack for planning. We both love a good brainstorming session. Sometimes we share ideas we’ve had in our heads for a while, and sometimes we will set our sights on a classic recipe that we can recreate, and start to research how to go about it.


I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed my savory ratatouille nestled into some creamy polenta, spiked with goat cheese.

Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta With Ratatouille

Our planning sessions, whether for a catered event, or for mapping out the next season’s recipes for the blog, normally happen over a glass of wine sitting in one of our living rooms after our kids have gone to bed. We will spend a few hours ping-ponging back and forth, “how about this,” or “oh how about that,” etc. No matter how inspiration strikes for any given dish, we will adapt it in an attempt to stick to using seasonal ingredients. It’s how we roll. It’s so important to us that some of our recipes are based solely around an ingredient we have in our fridge that we want to use up or a vegetable in our garden that is growing in abundance. We strive to be responsible consumers in that way, and if we’re being honest, fresher just tastes better.

This ratatouille dish took its inspiration from a few sources; the polenta and goat cheese I had leftover from a recent catering event, the fact that we still had yellow squash, zucchini, basil, thyme and boat loads of tomatoes growing in our gardens, and that Natalie was still rocking it on the Whole30. While the recipe we came up with is not Whole30 approved, it could be easily adjusted by subbing out the polenta for some delicious roasted sweet potatoes. While that sounds nice and healthy, I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed my savory ratatouille nestled into some creamy polenta, spiked with goat cheese. It was so rich and velvety, what a treat!

Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta With Ratatouille

Sometimes the very best meals come from just using what you have in your kitchen and your garden, and thinking a little outside the box. This ratatouille is proof of that. We’d love to hear about your favorite creations that were born from using what you had on hand!

Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta With Ratatouille

Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta With Ratatouille

Serves 4

Ratatouille

1 small eggplant
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 bell pepper (yellow, red or orange)
4 roma tomatoes
10-12 fresh basil leaves
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 large onion
2 tbsp olive oil divided
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Polenta

1 cup polenta
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups whole milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8 oz goat cheese, divided
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Slice all vegetables 1/2 inch thick, making them as uniform as possible. 
  2. Working in a circular pattern (like the photo above), alternate vegetables until the dish is full or all the veggies are used up. Add a basil leaf in between the sliced veggies every so often. 
  3. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with slivered garlic, a pinch of salt and fresh thyme pulled off its stems. Bake for 45 minutes.
  4. When the ratatouille has 20 minutes left, begin the polenta. In a medium saucepan bring the polenta, salt, pepper, milk and chicken stock to a simmer.  Add 6 oz of the goat cheese and continue to cook until all liquid is absorbed and the polenta is soft. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. If you like your polenta more runny, continue to add more milk.
  5. To serve, divide polenta into four bowls and top with a generous serving of the ratatouille. Sprinkle with additional goat cheese and toasted pine nuts, serve immediately.