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crispy polenta bites with green tapenade recipe

Written on Sunday, September 18, 2016 | 10:33:00 PM

PREPARATION: 10 minutes
COOKING: 15 minutes, plus 3 hours cooling and chilling

Ingredients : 
- 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) hot vegetable stock 
- 140 g (5 oz) instant polenta (cornmeal) 
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons potato starch or cornflour (cornstarch), for dusting
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, for frying

- 175 g (6 oz) pitted green olives
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
- 90 ml (3 fl oz) olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- finely grated zest of ½ lemon
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
- freshly ground black pepper

Preparation Method :
1) Line a 20 cm (8 inch) square baking tray with foil, letting it overhang the sides.

2) To make the polenta, combine the stock, polenta and salt and pepper in a pan and bring to the boil over a medium–high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and stir constantly until very thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in the oregano. Pour into the prepared baking tray and smooth the top with a spatula. Leave to cool, then transfer to the fridge to firm up for at least 2 hours.

3) Meanwhile, make the tapenade. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until well combined – you want a slightly chunky texture. Taste for seasoning and set aside.

4) When the polenta is firm and you’re ready to serve, lift it out of the baking tray and put on a chopping board. Cut into 4 cm (1½ inch) squares with a sharp knife. Spread the potato starch or cornflour out on a plate. Toss the polenta squares in the flour, shaking off any excess.

5) Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the squares over a medium–high heat for about 4 minutes each side, or until golden.

6) Transfer to paper towels. To serve, arrange the polenta squares on a platter and top with a spoonful of tapenade. Best served hot.


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