recipes for great vegan + gluten free eats

Dinner Party Meal: Grilled Polenta + Roasted Pepper Sauce w/ Cauliflower Steaks

Dinner Party Meal: Grilled Polenta + Roasted Pepper Sauce w/ Cauliflower Steaks

This is going to be great!

My friends Chris and Meaghan and I have talked about doing a dinner party blog post for ages. We finally did it!

We all know that summer calls for using a BBQ and having friends over. Summer is also for trying new things, which is why we’ve decided to be creative in the kitchen today—or well, creative on the BBQ!

First, let me introduce my friends! Chris describes himself as a Barefoot Contessa wannabe, and Meaghan describes herself as his Jeffrey. We became friends close to 10 years ago, when we were all working together at a local health food store. While we’ve all moved on since, we managed to keep in touch and stay good friends. As I have mentioned, I am getting ready to leave for Montreal soon (in fact, by the time this gets posted, I’ll have moved already!) I am thankful that the three of us got to get together before I left and had a chance to open a bottle of delicious wine and share some good laughs.

On to the food.

Chris and Meaghan brought over some ingredients, I had some things in the fridge, and we picked whatever else we needed fresh from the garden. Pro tip: ingredients are best when they’re fresh form the garden, but we found that store bought did us just fine too. We both had picked out cauliflower, so we decided to grill that up. Meghan came up with the marinade; a delicious combination of thyme, lemon, and garlic.


Next up, we needed to decide something to do with the polenta. Chris came up with the idea of a roasted pepper and sundried tomato sauce. After we had the cauliflower marinating, we threw the peppers on the BBQ and grilled them until the skins turned black. We then wrapped them in aluminum foil to steam. Finally, when they cooled, we peeled them and threw them into the blender with the rest of the sauce ingredients.



While things cooked, we sat outside and tried to stay away from the wasps. We also chatted and drank wine. We highly recommend this part.

When the sauce was ready and the cauliflower was close to being done, we brushed some oil, rosemary, and salt on the polenta and grilled them on the BBQ for a few minutes.



When you’re ready to eat, place a couple polenta disks on a plate, top with the roasted pepper sauce and serve alongside an easy green salad and delicious roasted cauliflower.

Don’t forget dessert! If you have really good friends like I do, they’ll bring sundae ingredients.



Grilled Polenta w/ Roasted Pepper Sauce
For the Polenta
  • 1 polenta log
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt and peper
Roasted Pepper Sauce
  • 4 peppers
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes, in oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup navy beans
  • 1 garlic clove
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt, to taste
For the Roasted Pepper Sauce
  1. Heat up your BBQ.

  2. Place the peppers on the BBQ. Cook them until the skins have burnt.

  3. When the whole pepper is charred, place them on a plate and wrap them in aluminum foil. Let sit for 15 minutes.

  4. Remove the foil and let the pepper cool. Once they're cool, peel the burnt skin off and remove the seeds.

  5. Place the peppers with the remaining ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. 

  6. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.

For the Polenta
  1. Combine the oil with the rosemary, salt, and pepper.

  2. Cut the polenta log into disks.

  3. Brush each side of the disks with the herb oil.

  4. BBQ the polenta disks until warmed throughout, about 5 minutes on each side.

  5. Top with the roasted pepper sauce and serve with roasted cauliflower, recipe below.

Lemon + Thyme Roasted Cauliflower
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, bro
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • juice and zest from one small lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Start up your BBQ to get it warmed up.

  2. In a medium sized bowl or casserole dish, combine all the ingredients except for the cauliflower. 

  3. Now toss the cauliflower in the marinade. Let it sit in the marinade until you are ready to BBQ it.

  4. Make a make-shift tray from aluminum foil and place the cauliflower and all the marinade on that. 

  5. BBQ the cauliflower until golden brown, about 20 minutes (BBQ'a vary so check on them every 5 minutes or so). Make sure to flip the cauliflower half way through. 

  6. Serve with the above recipe.

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