I’m so enjoying these stretched out evenings. I took my book to the park after work today, plonked myself on a bench and soaked up some rays while indulging in a little “me-time”.
I was thinking how nice it would be to have a garden and be able to invite a few pals around for evening drinks and nibbles outside. These Polenta-Olive Tapenade bites would hold up well to travelling so I suppose you could even take them to the park for a light picnic!
If you caught my recipe for Middle-Eastern Lentils with Roasted Caulifower, Sweet Potatoes & Dukkah, you might have spotted the “Tapenade Marocaine” amongst the goodies I received from Olives et al. Tapenade is a bold paté usually made from olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil. Apparently the French word comes fromthe Provençal name for caper buds, tapeno.
Anyway, before you wonder what’s going on with me using fishy ingredients, note that Olives et al replace the typical anchovies with preserved lemons. A brilliant idea in my opinion.
If , like me, you’re into gutsy flavours like olives and capers, I’ve got a few other recipes you might want to try:
Tapenade usually ends up on crostini or oatcakes in my household, but for a change I went with these little polenta squares. They’re easy peasy to make, creamy in the middle and crisp on the top and the perfect foil to the punchy paté.
When I cook with polenta I almost always make my Pesto Polenta Triangles as they seem to go with everything. I store them in the freezer and just defrost a couple when I fancy them.
- 1-1/2 C Quick-cooking polenta
- 4-1/2 C Vegetable broth
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- Olive oil
- Vegan olive tapenade
- Cherry tomatoes (slow-cooked or raw)
- Fresh parsley
- Lightly grease a square brownie pan with olive oil.
- Bring the vegetable broth to the boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and add the polenta. Whisk vigorously as it will thicken immediately. Keep whisking to remove any lumps.
- Once very thick pour into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Set aside to cool and then refrigerate for at least an hour until firm.
- Slice the polenta into small squares, brush with a little olive oil and place under the grill (broiler) for a few minutes until crisp.
- Top each square with a heaped teaspoon of tapenade and half a cherry tomato (I slow-roasted mine for extra flavour)
- Sprinkle with parsley and black pepper to serve.
This is really more of an idea than a recipe. You could top your polenta squares with your favourite dip. Try hummus or perhaps my Roasted Red Pepper, Walnut & Parsley Pesto?
How are you making the most of the light evenings?