Cauliflower with Green Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes on Polenta

Photo Credit: Mette Nielsen

Cauliflower with Green Olives & Sun-Dried Tomatoes on Polenta

Yield 6-8

This sunny combo of golden polenta, toasty-roasty cauliflower, snappy green olives, and rich sun-dried tomatoes is delicious, deeply satisfying, and dependable. And, oh! it happens to be healthful, nourishing, and easy to make. 


For the cauliflower:

  • 2 heads cauliflower, stems and cores removed, florets chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 to 4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little more for drizzling
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, partially drained and coarsely chopped
  • Zest of 1 small lemon 
  • Juice of ½ lemon, or more to taste 
  • Salt & pepper to taste

For the polenta:

  • 1 cup medium or fine cornmeal
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


For the Polenta:

Bring the water to boil in a medium-size heavy saucepan set over high heat. Add the salt.

Slowly pour the cornmeal in the water, stirring with a wire whisk or wooden spoon. Continue stirring as the mixture thickens, 2 to 3 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and cook the polenta, stirring every 10 minutes, until it becomes quite thick, thinning it with ½ cup water, stirring well after each addition, for about 45 minutes to an hour.

To test for doneness, put a spoonful on a plate, allow to cool, then taste. The grains should be swollen and taste cooked, not raw. Adjust the seasonings.

For the Cauliflower with Green Olives & Sundried Tomatoes:

Preheat the oven to 450°. Toss the cauliflower in a large mixing bowl with 3 Tablespoons of olive oil, salt & pepper.

Spread the cauliflower out in a single layer on a large baking sheet and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time, until tender and slightly charred.

Turn the cauliflower into a large bowl and toss with the olives, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over the polenta, drizzled with a little more olive oil and another squirt of lemon, to taste.

Courses Dinner