Polenta with Chickpeas and Tomatoes

Cook 25 mins ∙ Makes Servings: 4 ∙ Source Washingtonpost.com


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (about 7 ounces), diced
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • One (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 4 cups water or unsalted or low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) medium or stone ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces (may substitute with vegan butter)


Make the chickpeas and tomatoes: In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, fennel seeds, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to soften and turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes, let it come to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces and the flavors meld, 7 to 10 minutes. Taste, and season with more salt and/or pepper, if needed.

Make the polenta: Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the water or broth to a boil. While whisking steadily to prevent lumps, slowly pour in the cornmeal. Whisk in the salt, reduce the heat to low, so the liquid is at a gentle simmer, cover partially (to protect from eruptions), and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the butter, a piece at a time, until fully incorporated. Taste, and season with more salt, if needed.

To serve, divide the polenta among 4 bowls and top with the chickpea and tomato mixture.

Nutritional Info

Calories per serving (1 cup polenta plus 3/4 cup chickpea and tomato mixture): 427
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 21g 32%
Saturated Fat: 8g 40%
Cholesterol: 30mg 10%
Sodium: 890mg 37%
Total Carbohydrates: 52g 17%
Dietary Fiber: 9g 36%
Sugar: 7g
Protein: 9g
*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Total Fat: Less than 65g
Saturated Fat: Less than 20g
Cholesterol: Less than 300mg
Sodium: Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrates: 300g
Dietary Fiber: 25g

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