This dish was inspired by recipe in the current issue of Waitrose Food magazine - the recipe was for fried polenta topped with a fresh tomato sauce and sliced black olives. I didn't follow the recipe, but the idea pf polenta and PSB with tomato sauce really tickled my fancy, and as the garden is positively bursting with PSB at the moment, I'm constantly looking for new ways to serve it. It's mark's absolute favourite vegetable, but I'm not that crazy about it and need to combine it with interesting flavours and textures to make it palatable. This dish totally nailed it for me!
I'd not intended to use olives because neither of us is too keen on the taste of hot olives, despite loving them cold. When heated, the taste reminds me of the antiseptic cream that my Mum used to slather onto my childhood grazed knees! However a dig about in the fridge produced four lonely rashers of streaky bacon that were approaching use-it-or-lose-it stage, which would replace the salty tang the olives would have added.
A dive into the freezer produced half a block of cooked polenta, left over from a previous meal, and a tub of spicy chilli-infused tomato sauce made with some of last summer's glut of tomatoes. You could, of course, use bought polenta, the kind that comes ready-cooked in a sliceable block, and bought tomato sauce although if you do I suggest adding a finely chopped chilli or a few chilli flakes.
to serve two
4-6 slices of cooked polenta
4 rashers streaky bacon
about 8 spears of purple sprouting broccoli
approx. 300ml tomato and chilli sauce
oil for frying
flaked Parmesan cheese and black pepper for serving
Put a pan of water on ready for steaming the broccoli. Arrange the spears in a steamer that fits over the pan. Chop the bacon and place in a small non-stick pan and fry gently until starting to turn crisp. Meanwhile put a layer of oil in a large frying pan, large enough to hold all the polenta in a single layer, and gently fry the polenta on both sides until crispy and golden (this always takes longer than you expect - it took about 15 minutes for mine to fully cook).
Once the polenta is cooking, add the tomato sauce to the bacon and leave to simmer gently until ready to serve.
Just before the polenta is ready, put the broccoli on to steam. If it's young and tender, straight from the garden, it will only take about 2 minutes. Older, tougher stalks from the supermarket could take 5-7 minutes.
When the polenta and broccoli are ready, arrange the polenta slices on two plates, top with the broccoli and spoon the sauce over. Finish with Parmesan shavings and a generous grating of black pepper.
Having made this entirely from odds and ends in the fridge and freezer, I am sharing with #KitchenClearout at MadHouse Family Reviews