Roasted Vegetables with Crispy Polenta and Romesco Sauce

plate of roasted eggplant and red bell pepper with pan fried polenta, romesco sauce, and chickpeas

Roasted vegetables combine with pan-seared polenta and a smoky romesco sauce to create a satisfying and delicious dish.


  • 4 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium/large eggplant, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered
  • 1 18 ounce (510 g) package pre-cooked polenta
  • 2 15 ounce (425 g) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 8 ounce (227 g) package Trader Joe’s Romesco Dip (or make this recipe)
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Roasted Veggies: Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat, then place the chopped eggplant and bell peppers on it. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil over the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, then toss the vegetables on the tray until they are evenly coated. Place the tray in the top rack of the oven and bake for 30-32 minutes, until the edges of the vegetables turn golden.
  2. Polenta: In the meantime, remove the polenta from its packaging and slice it into 1/4-1/2″ rounds. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to a large nonstick pan, and warm it over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the polenta rounds to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side. (Note: I recommend using a splatter guard if you have one). Once the polenta is golden and crispy, transfer the rounds to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
  3. Chickpeas: Add the chickpeas to the pan (with remaining leftover oil) and sauté until warm, 3 to 5 minutes. If you wish for the chickpeas to be crispier, you can cook them for a little longer.
  4. Serve: Use a spoon to spread 2-3 tablespoons of the romesco sauce on the bottom of a large plate, then top with the crispy polenta, roasted vegetables, and chickpeas. Finish each plate with a dollop of the remaining romesco sauce and a lemon wedge; serve warm.