Asparagus Polenta Cake

Herby polenta cooked then poured over whole asparagus, cooled until it hardened and then grilled to perfection.

Substitute:

  • No asparagus? Use purple sprouting broccoli, mushrooms, mangetout or peas instead. 
  • No garlic clove? Use 1 tsp garlic puree instead. 
  • No parsley? Use fresh coriander or dill instead. 
  • No parmesan? Use any cheese/vegan cheese of your choice. This recipe can be done without cheese too! 
  • No capers? Try with finely chopped cornichons instead. 
  • No lemon? Use lime instead. 
  • No cumin? Try with ground coriander or ground turmeric instead. 

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

100 g Asparagus

1 tbsp Olive oil

80 g Polenta (express)

1 Garlic clove (chopped )

270 ml Water

4 tbsp Parsley (chopped )

4 tbsp Parmesan (grated )

30 g frozen peas

Salt & pepper

For the sauce:

2 tbsp Mint (chopped )

1 tbsp Capers (chopped )

1 tsp Lemon zest

2 tsp Lemon juice

1 tsp Garlic puree

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

a pinch of Ground cumin

Salt & pepper

Recipe:

  1. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus - save them in your freezer for making stock or soup. Cut the asparagus in half lengthwise.
  2. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes then remove from the water and set aside.  
  3. Line a small tray or plate with reusable baking paper or cling film. You can also use a good dollop of olive oil instead. Place the asparagus and frozen peas in the centre of the tray. 
  4. Place a saucepan on the heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, polenta and water. Add a generous pinch of both salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring often for 4-5 minutes, until dense and thick.
  5. Stir in the parsley and grated cheese/vegan cheese.
  6. Transfer the polenta to the prepared tray, pouring over the asparagus and peas, trying to create a smooth rectangular shape. Set aside to cool. 
  7. In a small bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients together, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Heat a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add 3 tbsp of olive oil and when hot, gently place the polenta cake in the pan. Pan fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  9. Serve with the sauce drizzled all over. Enjoy! 
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How to store

Store in an airtight container, the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 1 month.

Leftovers

Leftovers can be eaten cold or reheated in the oven at 180 C/160 fan/4 gas mark for 10-15 minutes. The polenta cake would be delicious served with a tomato base sauce too.