Wednesday, 20 April 2011

World Vegetarian : Soft Polenta Mixed with Cheese and Spring Greens with Garlic

Imagine silky soft polenta with a hint of cheese underneath gently blanched spring greens that were then sauted with garlic, mustard seeds, and onions. Mmm.

The spring greens should have been broccoli di rape, but Tescos didn't have any of that, and a quick google showed that broccoli di rape looks a bit like spring greens so I thought eh, close enough. This would also work with curly kale, and I think the curly kale would mimic the slightly bitter taste of broccoli di rape that Jaffrey mentions in her introduction to the recipe. At least it would if I liked curly kale. Oh another thing - halve the amount of oil/butter that Jaffrey lists in recipes. I didn't, and that's why the greens are so shiny.

I used the oven method of cooking cheesy polenta - you mix polenta with water, bring a pan of water to a boil, add the polenta mix and grated cheese, bring to a boil until it starts to thicken, then bung in a pre-heated 200C oven in a greased baking dish for 50 minutes. Jaffrey recommends 60g of parmesan, but since that's not vegetarian I swapped it for Northumberland oak smoked cow's milk cheese, which is made with vegetarian rennet and has a lovely delicate smokey flavour. The recipe made a lot of polenta and it only had a slight taste of cheese, which is due to me swapping the cheese as the oak smoked isn't as strong a cheese as parmesan. However I 'tidied up' the leftovers to make a neater line in the baking dish (ahem) this afternoon and it tasted a bit stronger, so it's one of those recipes that improves with a little age.

We're eating the leftover polenta with a kidney bean and quorn mince chilli tonight, yum!

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