Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Enter the Polenta!

Polenta con Olive, Pomodori Secche & Timo con Cime di Rapa
Polenta with Olive, Sun-Dried Tomato and Thyme & Broccoli Rabe

I love Polenta- it's warming, comforting and so versatile! I find it a little bit sad that the only thing that people ever seem to do with it is to add cheese, or to let it set and then re-fry it the day after. Those are two great ways to eat polenta- sure... but there is so much more you can do with it!

I decided to add plenty of flavor to mine whilst it was cooking- good Mediterranean ingredients like garlic, olives, thyme, sun-dried tomatoes and rich olive oil, which made it into a great accompaniment for the tender, young broccoli rabe- another one of my favorites!

Another simple and delicious dish here! To make it, I started off by boiling some water for my polenta. How much you may ask? Well- how hungry are you? I may reply! I basically judged this by eye, and put roughly the amount of water into the pan as I was intending to eat polenta... use a little common sense! If you want to want one bowl full of polenta- boil enough water to fill that particular bowl! I am being a little bit cheeky, I know- but basically, that is the truth- the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

So, back to reality! I would say that this was 2 coffee mugs worth of water, into which I stirred 3 tablespoonfuls of polenta. To this I added 3 finely chopped large black olives, 3 half-slices of sun-dried tomatoes and 3 twigs-worth of plucked thyme leaves- there! I decided to make things easy for you! I seasoned it with salt and pepper, grated it with nutmeg, stirred it well and reduced the heat to a low simmer, and then stirred it occasionally for the next 10-15 minutes, whilst I prepared the broccoli rabe.

I decided to steam the broccoli rabe this time- 10 minutes were enough to have it cooked, a lovely vibrant green color and still a little bite in the stalks. To make it just that little bit better, I then briefly sautéed it in a splash of olive oil with a little crushed garlic... and didn't forget to stir the polenta every now and then! So, believe it or not, after just 20 minutes, supper was ready. I gave everything a final dusting of nutmeg, a good pinch of coarsely ground black pepper and a light sprinkle of olive oil and all was well in the world! That's what good comfort food will do for you! Hope you enjoy!

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