For Polenta, bring 7-10 cups vegetable stock to simmer. Sweat ½ cup diced shallots in oil and deglaze with ¼ cup white wine. Add 3 cups coarse cornmeal and bouquet garni of thyme, basil, rosemary, sage & parsley. Add stock 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly, cooking on low, for a minimum of 20 minutes. When not too thick, pour into oiled pan & refrigerate. Invert, cut into portions and grill.
For Ragout: Gently heat 2 onions, 4 celery, 3 carrots & 2 large yams, all diced, in a little oil until yams are soft and onions are sweet. Add 1 cup dried cherries, 1 cup raisins, 28 oz cooked chickpeas, 3 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1 cinnamon stick & 2 bay leaves. Cook 2-3 minutes until very aromatic. Add 32 oz crushed tomatoes & 8 oz vegetable stock and simmer until vegetables are al dente. Season to taste.
Chefs Tim Panagrot & Emily Child, Haro’s, Sidney Pier Hotel, 9805 Seaport Place, Sidney, 250-655-9700. This culinary team loves to produce new menus from fresh, local organics.