Greek Polenta Lasagna

Wow – it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Funny thing about teaching full-time, going to grad school part-time, and being a wife, mother, writer, etc.: Time for blogging seems to drop to the bottom of the list, fast.

But some of you may remember that in a past life, I had a food blog. I have an abiding interest in eating well, being healthy, growing a low-maintenance/environmentally-friendly garden, and eating well. (Yes, it’s so important, I said it twice.)

So when my publisher (SQUEE!!! The thrill never wears off… ;)), The Wild Rose Press, announced they’re accepting entries for their annual holiday cookbook, The Garden Gourmet, it got me thinking. This year, they’re asking for “hacks,” rather than recipes. But it just so happens I have a hack that IS a recipe. (Of course I do. I’m the queen of multitasking/multi-purposing/and multi-genre-ing.  :))

Anyway, I thought I’d go ahead and post the full recipe here. If you like to cook, to try new things, maybe are gluten-free (or know someone who is), and/or just want to make some healthier substitutions in your life, this is a very easy, very awesome, crowd-pleasing recipe. Enjoy!

GREEK POLENTA LASAGNA (adapted from http://ohmyveggies.com)
Serves 8-10

18 ounce Pre-made Polenta   the kind in the tube, or make your own!
16 ounce Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
1 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese   divided
1 Egg
10 ounce Frozen Chopped Spinach   thawed and squeezed to remove excess water
12 ounce Roasted Red Peppers in Water   drained and diced
34 cup Kalamata Olives   pitted, chopped & divided
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
12 teaspoon Salt
14 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
25 ounce Marinara Sauce   basically, a jar of your favorite red pasta sauce
8 ounce Mozarella Cheese   shredded (about 2 cups)

DIRECTIONS

Cut the polenta crosswise into discs approximately 1/2″ thick. Or, if you made your own in a loaf pan, cut lengthwise into 8 slices. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, use a fork to combine the ricotta, 3/4 cup feta, egg, spinach, roasted red peppers, 1/2 cup olives, oregano, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Have an 8×12-inch pan ready. For easy assembly, have all components (polenta, ricotta mixture, sauce and mozzarella) arranged side-by-side on the kitchen counter or table.

Spread a little sauce on the bottom of the pan. Lay discs/slices of polenta in a single layer over the sauce. Add half the ricotta in dollops, then spread gently to distribute evenly. Add half of the remaining sauce, then half the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers — add the remaining polenta, then the ricotta, then the sauce, then the cheese. Top evenly with 1/4 cup crumbled feta and 1/4 cup kalamata olives.

Bake until hot throughout and the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown in spots, 40-50 minutes. Let cool for about 15 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

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