During quarantine lockdowns (we had two of them in Melbourne) it was a challenge to have only vegetables as a side dish. Rice, pasta, buckwheat and polenta were an option to have delicious, nourishing and comforting meal in those times. Below is one of the examples of simple to prepare meal – lunch or dinner. It was nice to be reminded how delicious is polenta, and how easy it is paired with any sauce or mixture of available ingredients. All ingredients are naturally gluten free.
We love runny, wet polenta. It thickens as it cools down. Leftovers are delicious, gently fried in butter and served with eggs for breakfast. We still had some cucumbers, tomatoes and avocado left, and that allowed us to have fresh salad on the side.
- quick polenta
- frozen homemade concentrated stock cubes (come from juices when I slowly cook/roast lamb or pork
- mozzarella cheese
- sea salt
- white pepper (optional)
for Chorizo and mushroom sauce
- 1 gluten free Chorizo sausage
- punnet, 200g Swiss mushrooms
- 1 onion
- 1 leek
- 1 table spoon olive oil
- 1 table spoon butter
- sea salt and black pepper for seasoning
You can use any source of oil for frying. Ham can be used to replace Chorizo sausage, mushrooms of any kind are fine as well.
for vegetable salad, no dressing
- cherry tomatoes
- Lebanese cucumber
- red capsicum
- coriander stems
Chorizo and mushroom sauce
- heat oil in a pan
- add onion and leek sliced in semi-circles, cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, move to the side
- add sliced Chorizo sausage, cook for several minutes
- add sliced mushrooms, season with sea salt and pepper, stir and cook on medium to low heat until onions are completely soft and translucent
vegetable salad, no dressing
- cut tomatoes in halves or quarters
- slice onion very thin
- slice other vegetables on mandoline slicer
- soft avocado is better sliced by hand
- season with salt and pepper 5 minutes before serving, mix
- heat water to a boiling point
- season with salt
- add polenta (use recommendations on the package for polenta to water ratio, I use more water that recommended) while stirring
- cook on medium to low heat, depending on the pot type
- when polenta thickens, add stock cubes, butter and cheese in succession, stir the contents of the pot all the time
- check seasoning, if necessary add more salt
- the texture of polenta gets thicker when it cools down
Polenta on photo below was prepared with Castello blue cheese. Cheeses with distinctive flavours add more depth to polenta taste.
The flavours and textures in this simple dish work very nicely together. We enjoyed it!
More examples with polenta toppings.