Enjoy this hearty salad on the go, or make a batch and enjoy all week at home! The best time to make this beauty is high summer, when basil and tomatoes are at their peak. Also lovely topped with avocado. Enjoy!
2 cups water, filtered 4 cloves garlic, minced ½ tsp sea salt 1 tbsp nutritional yeast ½ cup polenta
2 tbsp EVOO
4 oz arugula, baby, washed (or torn leaves if mature) 2 cups cherry tomato, halved (or use heirlooms if in season!) 10 leaves basil, chiffonade 1 cup white beans or chickpeas, drained, rinsed ⅓ cup olives, drained (opt'l)
⅓ cup balsamic vinegar 4 cloves garlic minced 2 tbsp lemon juice ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp italian seasoning or preferred spice blend 2 tbsp parsley fresh 1 tsp salt 1 tsp black pepper 1 cup sunflower seeds, toasted 1/2 cup sesame seeds, white 1/4 cup nutritional yeast 2 tsp sea salt 2 tsp garlic powder
Puree garlic, salt, and nutritional yeast with water and bring this mixture to a simmer on the stovetop. Once simmering, whisk in your polenta. Cook over very low heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly. Drizzle in EVOO and whisk thoroughly to ensure it's integrated. Pour this mix about a half inch thick onto an ungreased baking sheet, smooth it with a spatula, and chill in fridge.
Combine arugula, cherry tomatoes, basil, chickpeas or white beans and olives in a bowl. In a blender, blend vinegar, garlic, lemon, olive oil, and spices and pour this dressing into the bowl, folding the greens and veggie mix together gently.
In a dry blender, pulse the last five ingredients until they are a parm-like texture. Set aside.
Remove the polenta from the fridge and cut it into 1-inch chunks - think fondue bread. Carefully fold these pieces into the greens/veggie and dressing mixture, transfer it all to a serving bowl, and top with the sesame and sunflower seed parmesan (to taste). Make ahead: assemble ingredients shortly before serving but dressing and polenta can be made several days ahead. Avocado is a lovely addition if you're sure it'll all be eaten immediately!