Garlic has a range of cardiovascular benefits, protects against cancer, and can even help promote healthy weight, due to its flavonoids and a unique set of sulfur-containing nutrients, in addition to vitamins C and B6, selenium, and manganese. For good measure, bright lemons and red bell peppers are rich in a variety of detox-supporting, health-enhancing phytonutrients. Red peppers also contain antioxidants which can aide in cell regeneration in the body.
1 red bell pepper
1 head garlic, rubbed with 1 teaspoon oil
1 cup cornmeal
½ teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped basil
Roast the red bell pepper and garlic: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the pepper and head of garlic on a baking tray and roast until the skin of the pepper is puffed and slightly charred, and the garlic is soft and the papery skin becomes browned. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Use tongs to transfer pepper and garlic to a medium bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it steam and cool.
Separate the cloves of garlic and squeeze each one to release the roasted garlic. It will be soft. Measure out 1 tablespoon for this recipe and reserve the remaining for use in other recipes (or to spread on bread).
Remove the skin from the roasted pepper and cut in half. Scrape out the seeds and membrane. Dice the pepper pieces finely and measure out half for this recipe. Reserve the remaining roasted pepper for use in other recipes or to spread on crostini.
Make the polenta: Combine the cornmeal, roasted garlic, salt, and pepper with 4 cups cold water in a heavy-bottomed pot. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring constantly until polenta is thickened, about 30 minutes. Polenta should be somewhat stiff. Stir in the roasted pepper and chopped basil. Serve hot.