Warm polenta fennel salad
November 10, 2015
Have you ever grown radish? My Nan used to grow them along the driveway of her home when I was a kid and I could never quite work out if I loved their peppery, crisp bite or disliked it. The favoured way to eat them was rinsed and dipped in a little salt – straight in your mouth from the garden. I have never been inclined to grow them until I got a free pack of seeds with a magazine and had an empty garden pot that needed filling. They got off to a shaky start when they first went from the seed tray to the pot with some snails trying to devour them. I added some blood and bone around the base and watered them every few days. They quickly doubled and then tripled in size, ready to harvest after approximately a month from planting the seed (or less I forgot to write down the date I planted them) Anyway, they grow fast! I collected a gorgeous crop ready to use for dinner. The lack of rain and heat has been wreaking havoc with my spring garden. In addition to harvesting a big bunch of radish I have some fennel plants beginning to grow tall and thin instead of fat and bulbous. I collected the largest of those and created this side dish for dinner.
Baked, or grilled polenta has been one of my favorite things this year. If you make a batch it can be used for multiple meals across the week. The easiest way to do this is to cook it and pour it into a lined tray to set in the fridge, once set slice into strips for chips or cubes. To use on another night, put some into a sauce pan with some water to loosen and heat it to serve with a slow cooked meal, or instead of potato.
Baked polenta is the easiest method if you don’t have time to watch over it. Add the strips or pieces to a baking tray drizzled with a little oil (or this is my addictive recipe for polenta chips) and cook on a medium high heat for approximately 25 min while the rest of dinner is being assembled. Alternatively if you prefer a charred flavor add it to a griddle pan turning often until charred on each side.
I wasn’t convinced this combination of ingredients would work with the polenta until I took a bite. It was a fabulous combination. Fresh and sweet, crunchy and a little sharp with the creamy smokey polenta, it works a treat. I hope that you get to give it a try.
Prepare the polenta ahead of time
Cook time includes the time to initially cook the polenta and then to char grill it.
Serve with a main of your choice such as chicken or fish, or on it’s own as an appetizer.
Are you growing radish? What is your favourite way to eat them? Please tell me in the comments below.
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