Saturday, 23 May 2015

Simplicity For You and Me!

Polenta, Asparagi & Pomodorini con Grana & Timo
Polenta, Asparagus & Cherry Tomatoes with Grana & Thyme

Simple food that's simply good... That what I like to prepare and what I like to eat the most! It needn't be expensive, it needn't be complicated... All it needs to be is healthy and delicious!

And more than that, you also know that I like to prepare food that is quick and easy to make... Which I why I made this delicious supper this evening... And why I suggest that you try it out too!


Always inquisitive and always eager to try something new, I stumbled upon this lovely polenta of the variety labeled "fioretto" today, which is a much finer grind and apparently different to "instant" polenta, but also, according to the packaging, cooks much more quickly than regular polenta.

Well... Let me just say- this is my polenta of choice from now on! No lumps, no hassle, just wonderful perfect results... Forget instant... This only takes 5 minutes longer at the most anyway!


My ingredients for 2 portions were: 10-11 stalks of green asparagus, 5-6 cherry tomatoes, 3 tablespoons or one ramekin full of fioretto polenta, 1 small onion, plenty of fresh thyme, salt, pepper, butter, olive oil and Grana Padano cheese. I told you it was simple!


A picture can indeed take the place of a thousand words... So take a look at this, just in case you are worried that this dish is too simple to taste terrific. It's simply an excellent and harmonious combination! And that is the secret to all good cooking, right there!


Preparations to be done include of course slicing the asparagus into fine shavings, as you can see here. Simply trim off the tough ends and then using a vegetable peeler, hold the asparagus firmly down on your chopping block and shave from the stalk to the tip.

Once you have the asparagus sliced, chop up the onion finely and then pop about 1/3rd of it into a saucepan with a pat of butter and cook until translucent, then add plenty of thyme and boil up some water for your polenta... Which can be added next! You will need at least 3 times the amount of water as you have polenta.


Once the saucepan has been deglazed by the water, has come up to the boil and has then been reduced down to a low simmer, the polenta can be added and stirred-in until it is fully dissolved and smooth.

You may need to add either polenta or water accordingly, to have the right quantity and consistency, but with the fioretto polenta, that is very easy to do and it Is something that you can do simply "by eye". Trust me!

You could optionally add a little vegetable, chicken or beef bouillon to make a rich broth, but I preferred to keep mine simple, flavored only with butter, cheese and thyme.

Cook at a low temperature for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally... It is very low maintenance indeed! Add a pat of butter and a tablespoon of grated Grana Padano or Parmigianao at the end before serving... And that's it!


The rest is very basic and from principle, the same for both the tomatoes and the asparagus... Fry with half of the remaining onion and a sprig of thyme in a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper... Simple!


Do the same with the asparagus and fry for just 3-4 minutes at a high heat, no longer... And you will be then ready to serve!


The combination is wonderful together with the polenta, especially when you cut into the tomatoes and get all of those sweet juices... And they combine with the rich and savory Grana cheese and freshly ground black pepper which are the finishing touches! It's perfectly simple and totally delicious... Just like I said! Try it... You'll see!

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