Polenta with Ultimate Spring Vegetable Saute

Early in the lock-down days, I subscribed to CSA deliveries. So every week a box full of fresh veggies and fruits gets delivered to our home. It has been a huge source of respite and inspiration to see the familiar farmer's market fresh veggies during these lock-down times - not to mention I feel good about playing our part in supporting local farms who are feeling particularly challenged as local restaurants slow down.

This polenta with spring veggie saute is a spur of the moment creation from looking at the CSA box and thinking of what to make. Last week we got fresh fava beans in pods, early asparagus shoots, celery, young garlic and some mint sprigs.  
Preparing fava beans:
To prepare fava beans, remove them from pods (get your kids to help with this step! :) ). Boil water in a small pot, add fava beans to boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove and drench them in ice-cold water to stop cooking. Remove from the icy-water and shell the beans to remove the outer skin. That's all! Young spring fava beans are super flavorful and are a treat!

Preparing polenta:
Add 5C water to a large pan along with a Tbsp of olive oil and some salt. Let it come to boil. Then reduce heat to simmer and slowly while stirring continuously, add 1C dried cornmeal for polenta. It is important to keep stirring so the cornmeal does not stick together. If it does, just try to mash up and separate with the back of your spoon. Cover and let cook on low heat simmer for 15-20 minutes until you get the desired consistency. Some people like it loose and some other like it more congealed. Add water as needed. Once polenta feels done, add another dash of olive oil and mix well and remove from heat. 

Preparing veggie saute:
While the polenta is cooking, prep the veggies. Chop the asparagus, celery, green garlic (or regular garlic cloves), handful of olives and capers. Heat olive oil in a large pan. When warm, add garlic and saute for a few minutes until fragrant. Add fava beans, asparagus, olives and capers. Saute for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and add fresh chopped mint (or basil would go well too). 

To assemble, in a plate, create a bed of warm polenta. Add spring vegetable saute. Season with any sauce or chutney you may have at hand (I used left-over mint cilantro chutney) or just plain good quality olive oil.