Friday 29 March 2013

Cavolo Nero with Red Capsicum, Olives and Smoked Cheese Polenta

From Wild Garlic, Gooseberries … and Me, Denis Cotter, Collins, 2010.

I am always concerned when cooking polenta that it should come out flavoursome and not like a tasteless porridge. This recipe gave an excellent polenta result.

In a saucepan I brought to the boil 500ml water with a stock cube and then whipped in 100g polenta slowly. This was stirred and stirred until it had thickened somewhat and begun to leave the edges of the saucepan. The heat was now turned down to low and the polenta continued to be cooked for another 20 minutes, stirring every so often.

Meanwhile I sliced cavolo nero leaves, discarding the hard stem. I cut a red capsicum into small pieces. I sliced three or four black olives. I chopped a garlic cube. I chopped a red chilli finely. The cavolo nero went into a frying pan with a little oil and was cooked for a few minutes. Then in went all of the other ingredients to cook for another few minutes. Now a little water was added to the pan and a lid placed on to let it simmer for about a quarter of an hour.

The polenta was now ready to about 20g butter was added with 30g grated smoked cheese and a tablespoon chopped sage. This was all stirred in. It did not seem to need any addition of salt but a few gratings of black pepper were added.

A helping of polenta was placed on a serving dish and the vegetables added alongside with the liquid. A little extra virgin olive oil was sprinkled on and it was ready to eat.

This was bursting with the flavour. The smoky polenta went wonderfully with the bitter greens and the sweet capsicum. The juices had flavoured up and went well with the polenta. 

Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

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