Saturday, 17 August 2013

Wrapped-Up Tight

Polenta con Finocchio & Pancetta e Insalata Mista
Bacon-Wrapped Polenta & Fennel with Mixed Salad

Supper this evening was improvised, it was quick, cheap easy and delicious and it was too good to keep under wraps- even if it was wrapped up in crispy bacon and I want to keep it all to myself!

I had been out to the movies and came home a little later than I had been planning this evening and I wanted something really quick and satisfying for supper. I wasn't in the mood to stand around at a hot stove all evening and I also didn't want too much fuss- and I especially didn't want to have a lot of washing up afterwards! ;-) So I came up with these!

These were simply slices of firm polenta (left-overs!) onto which I laid a couple of slices of fennel and then wrapped tight with a thin rasher of bacon. I laid the fennel on top with the ends pointing towards the middle and then tried wrapping the bacon around... the only tricky part is to find the right position to start wrapping the parcel, so that the end of the bacon rasher ended up at the bottom. 

I "fried" them in a dry non-stick pan for 2-3 minutes until the bottom had begun to crisp up and then flipped them over to get the top and especially the fennel to brown off and crisp-up too. After 3-4 minutes from that side, I turned them over again and gave them a light sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese. I sprinkled them with salt, pepper and nutmeg and then popped them into a very hot oven with the broiler blazing for a further 2-3 minutes, until everything was crispy and golden. 

I served these tasty little polenta wrap-ups with a simple fresh salad of mixed greens, very lightly tossed in an olive oil, lemon juice and honey dressing... it was important to keep the salad simple so as to not overpower the flavors of the polenta.

The finishing touch was a trickle of balsamic reduction, made by gently simmering balsamic vinegar with honey... in this case a Sicilian orange-blossom honey, which just tasted divine! Yum!

Hope you give these little things a go some time and hope you enjoy them- sometimes it's the simplest things that end up being the best... especially at suppertime!

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