Posts Tagged With: cornmeal

Creamy polenta with poached eggs and sage

This is such a vibrant and comforting dish, with the frizzled sage leaves giving everything a crispy, colourful lift. Just be sure the eggs are very fresh – and then there’s no need to add vinegar or do any of that silly swirling stuff!

From the garden: eggs, sage, garlic
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes


  • Chopping board &small knife
  • 1 heavy-based saucepan & lid
  • Scales
  • Measuring jug
  • Grater
  • 1 small saucepan
  • Salad spinner
  • Paper towel
  • Wooden spoons
  • Bowls – 4 small
  • Deep-sided frying pan
  • Serving bowls

  • 250ml milk plus extra 100ml on standby
  • 250ml water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup fine polenta
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone
  • 50g pecorino
  • 25g butter
  • 4 very fresh large eggs
  • A branch of sage leaves
  • Flaked salt and black pepper What to do:

  • Bring the milk, water and bay leaf to the boil in the larger saucepan then remove from heat and allow to infuse for 20 minutes. Strain and discard the bay leaf, bring to the boil again, pour in the polenta and stir continuously until it thickens, about 10-20 minutes, depending on the variety of polenta.
  • Meanwhile grate the pecorino and measure out the mascarpone.
  • When the polenta is cooked, add the mascarpone and grated pecorino and mix until well combined. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. The polenta should be soft and creamy and only just hold its shape. You may need to add a little extra of the standby milk to loosen up the polenta if it becomes too stiff – this will also depend on what brand of polenta you use. You want a sloppy, porridge type consistency.
  • About 5 mins before the polenta is ready, poach the eggs. Fill the deep-sided frying pan 5cm deep with water and bring to a simmer. Carefully crack each egg separately into a small bowl without breaking it and then carefully slide into the water until they’re all in. Let the pan sit on a simmer for 4 minutes.
  • Pick the sage leaves, then wash and spin them dry. Heat the butter in the small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sage leaves and cook, stirring, until they are dark green, crispy and fragrant.
  • To serve, divide polenta among serving bowls. Lift the eggs out of the water, drain, and then place one on top of each bowl. Season generously and scatter with the frizzled sage leaves & browned butter.

Notes: What is polenta? What is cooking by ‘absorption’ method? Why shouldn’t we break the eggs when poaching them? What is to simmer?

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soft polenta with broad beans and spring onions

This dish makes for a great little lunch! Feel free to shave a little parmesan over too if you want…

From the garden: broad beans, onions, spring onions, parsley, lemon, garlic, sweetcorn
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 6 at home or 24 tastes


  • Chopping board & knife
  • Small paring knife
  • Garlic press
  • Scales
  • Bowls – large, med, small
  • 1 heavy-based saucepan& lid
  • 1 small saucepan & lid
  • Colander
  • Measuring jug
  • Wooden spoon
  • Non-stick frying pan & lid
  • Serving bowls

  • 1 corn cob
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 100g coarse polenta
  • 1kg broad beans in shell
  • 1 onion
  • 6 spring onions
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • ½ tablespoon vegetable bouillon
  • 100ml boiling water
  • A lemon
  • Flaked salt and black pepper

What to do:

  • Peel the husks from the corn, then slice the corn from the cob. Peel and crush 2 cloves of the garlic with the garlic press. Add the corn and garlic to the heavy based saucepan with 500ml water and bring to the boil over a moderate flame.
  • Measure the polenta & then rain it in to the corn water, stirring. Cover & reduce to a mere simmer 15 mins, stirring every few minutes.
  • Meanwhile fill the small saucepan with water & set to boil on high heat.
  • Pod the broad beans, discarding the outer shell into the compost, and add beans to the boiling water. Fill a large bowl with cold water and have ready.
  • Boil the broad beans for 3 minutes, drain and then immediately refresh in the bowl of cold water for 30 seconds. Drain again and double-pod by slipping the outer shell off into the compost. Reserve beans.
  • Place the bouillon in to the measuring jug and carefully add 300ml boiling water, stir.
  • Peel the brown onion and finely chop. Wash the spring onions and chop into 1cm lengths. Peel the remaining 4 cloves of garlic and finely slice. Wash and spin the parsley dry, pick and chop. Zest the lemon and then cut in half and squeeze one half.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the frying pan and begin to cook the chopped brown onion for 3-4 minutes over a medium to high heat until lightly golden, then add the garlic and cook gently for a further minute.
  • Now add the podded broad beans, the chopped spring onion and the hot stock and place a lid on the pan. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 2 minutes.
  • Take the lid off and increase the heat to medium. Continue to simmer till the liquid has reduced and become slightly syrupy – about 5 minutes. Sprinkle over the parsley and lemon zest, add lemon juice to taste, and stir to incorporate.
  • When the polenta is ready, remove the lid and season well. Spoon onto serving bowls, and then add the broad beans with the juices poured over.
Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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