I can’t say that I have ever used polenta all that much. It has been more on my radar since giving up gluten so I decided to give it a whirl! I remember working on a catering job in Venice, and one of the women I was working with was a big fan of the blocks of ready made polenta (you can buy them in all good supermarkets). She used to slice it and chargrill or barbeque it, transforming it into something entirely more appealing. I have followed her lead on this, and decided to try out what she believed to be the best way to cook polenta. I am constantly craving carbs because I seem to be either eating less because I am not eating bread, or eating just as much and not feeling satisfied in the same way. I think an ingredient such as polenta which sufferes from being a little bland, always benefits from an extra layer of flavour. Here, I have added some honey when chargrilling, to compliment the cheesy element to this dish.
1 500g block of ready made polenta, sliced into 8
2-3 tbsp of runny honey
1 small bag of watercress
1 large carrot, peeled into long thin ribbons (or a mix of heritage carrots as I have used here)
120g of blue cheese
60g of Walnuts, lightly toasted in a frying pan
75 ml extra virgin olive oil
25 ml of white wine vinegar
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 tbsp runny honey
Salt and Pepper to Season
Season the polenta liberally with Maldon sea salt (or similar) and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a char grill and when very hot, begin to grill the polenta. When the pan is very hot and the polenta is starting to colour add the honey, drizzling over the polenta. If it starts sticking, add a very small drizzle of olive oil. Turn the slices until nicely charred on each side and the honey is nicely caramelised. Set aside. Make your dressing by whisking together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice and honey until emulsified. Season to taste. Dress the ribbons of carrot and watercress liberally, place onto the polenta slices, followed by a sprinkle of crumbled blue cheese and walnuts.
To read more about my 5 week commitment to giving up gluten, follow the links below: