Polenta is a fabulous family friendly food and, now that I’ve found THE best way to grill it, it is popping up on my weekly meal planning menu A LOT! This polenta bruschetta recipe is a perfect foil for so many things; you can find my recipe for wild mushrooms and butterbeans in cream and wine here, it works really well with a good veggie chilli, with a richly flavoured puy lentil salad or with poached eggs and veggie sausages. Light but filling, it is very moreish!

I’ve written two printable recipe cards for you here. The polenta bruschetta goes so well with so many things I thought it deserved a card of its own and, then I realised, I make this bean stew in a variety of guises, it is just as happy alongside buttery mash, on toast or with a spoonful of rice so it deserves a separate recipe card too. I’m so fair!

Polenta Bruschetta Recipe, Sage Grill and Press

 

Polenta Bruschetta
 
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: Serves 2
 
Polenta Bruschetta is so easy to make and is a perfect foil for so many dishes.
Ingredients
  • 100g instant polenta
  • 400ml vegetable stock made with 2 tsps Marigold bouillon powder
  • 25g vegetarian parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1tsp dried chilli flakes (optional - you can replace with dried or fresh herbs of your choice, depending on the topping you are making)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring the vegetable stock to the boil in a small pan
  2. Pour the polenta in in a steady stream
  3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes
  4. Remove from the heat, stir in the cheese and chilli flakes
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste
  6. Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil and spoon the polenta on to it
  7. Spread evenly using a butter knife, it should be about 1.5cm thick, shape into a rough rectangle
  8. Leave to cool
  9. Preheat the grill to high (I used the Sage AdjustaGrill and Press which gives me the lovely seared lines, you can fry your polenta in a lightly oiled, very hot, griddle pan if you want the same effect)
  10. Cut the polenta in half and then cut each half on the diagonal to give you 4 triangles
  11. Brush very lightly with oil
  12. Grill for 4-5 minutes on each side until crisp and golden (if you are using the AdjustaGrill and Press use it on the sandwich setting and lower the top plate to press lightly on the polenta for about 3-5 minutes until golden and seared in places)
  13. Serve two wedges of polenta per person with the topping of your choice

Now, just look at those borlotti beans and chunky chestnut mushrooms! Stewed gently in a rich white wine, cream and rosemary sauce, sprinkled with paprika, plonked on top of the polenta and served up with cavolo nero and tomatoes. Yum. Bonus Boy won’t eat this if I put mushrooms in it – food of the devil as far as he’s concerned – so I replace them with carrots if I’m cooking it for him!

Polenta Bruschetta with Borlotti Beans and Mushroom

Borlotti Beans with Mushrooms, Rosemary and Wine
 
Author:
Cuisine: Vegetarian, Vegan
Serves: Serves 2
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
A richly flavoured bean stew which goes well with polenta bruschetta, buttery mashed potatoes, on toast, with rice or with a plate of chips!
Ingredients
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced into generous chunks
  • 1x 400g tin of borlotti beans
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 40g butter or vegan margarine
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 300ml water
  • 100ml white wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1tsp paprika (plus more for dusting artistically on the dish when you're done)
  • ½ tsp Marmite
  • ½ tsp Marigold Bouillon powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp cream or soya cream (optional)
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter and olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat and fry the mushrooms and leeks until the mushrooms begin to release their juices
  2. Add the garlic and fry gently for a further minute
  3. Add the white wine, water, borlotti beans, Marmite, bouillon, rosemary, chilli flakes, paprika, a pinch of salt and a grind or two of black pepper and bring to the boil
  4. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced to a thick glaze
  5. Add the cream if liked
  6. Serve, topped with a sprinkle of paprika and a handful of chopped chives

The Sage AdjustaGrill and Press made the Polenta an absolute breeze. This is the sort of kitchen appliance which, on first sight, makes me think ‘surface clutter, what does it do which my grill doesn’t?’ but, when I start to use it reveals its true, magnificent colours! I don’t have an eye level grill in my oven so that was its first bonus point, the second being that I can’t grill and oven cook at the same time which I often want to do and the Adjusta means I now can!

The adjustable top plate means I can cook my Sunday morning veggie grill (eggs included), I can sear vegetable strips, tofu kebabs and aubergine steaks. The adjustable feet and fat drip tray mean that you can cook meat and the fat will drain away (I won’t be testing this out, obviously, but it’s a useful feature for those who do!)

It’s this fabulous grill action which floats my personal boat but I have to fight my way through a bevy of teens to get to it! The AdjustaGrill is also a Press – you can lower that lid to the perfect height to produce an endless supply of toasted sandwiches for hungry teenagers and my two oldest boys spent much of Christmas experimenting with fillings and nattering away as their experiments cooked. Perfect.

 

 

 

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