Polenta Crust with Broccoli and Chicory

Polenta Crust with Broccoli and Chicory

Cime di rapa e cicoria belga con crosta di polenta

By
From
Vegetables
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Laura Edwards

The nearest most people will be able to get to the Italian favourite, cime di rape (actually a form of rape), are small spears of purple sprouting broccoli. In the south of Italy, when cime di rape is in season, it is constantly used, mostly as a side dish to fish and meat, but also by itself as a minestra, braised to be eaten with bread. The combination with chicory and polenta, as here, is my favourite.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely sliced
500g cime di rape
450g belgian chicory, the chicons cut in half
a few salted capers, desalted and chopped
1 small chilli, finely sliced
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Polenta crust

Quantity Ingredient
375g fine instant polenta
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. To start cooking the vegetables, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and lightly fry the garlic. Add the rape tops or broccoli, the chicory, capers and a little water, then cover with a lid and cook until tender, about 10–15 minutes. Add the chilli, and some salt and pepper to taste, and gently simmer for 2 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the polenta crust – a sort of cake – place the polenta in a bowl and add about 250ml of hot water, with some salt and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Mix well. Flatten with your hand to a rough hamburger size, keeping it as one cake. Fry in a suitably sized frying pan, in the remaining oil, until first one side and then the other is darkish brown and forms a crust. This should take about 8 minutes on each side.
  3. Eat the polenta cake cut into wedges, together with the vegetables.
Tags:
Carluccio
vegetables
vegetarian
Italian
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