Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Recipe: Lemony courgettes with polenta

I was supposed to go to a BBQ at the Dental School this afternoon but I have had a migraine brewing since this morning, and it is bound to set in as soon as I feel like having fun. So to try an ease the disappointment of not going to the BBQ I made this dish. Its light and summery but also good comfort food.

Polenta is great; it's cheap and easy - as well as looking a lot more impressive than it actually is. Not everyone will like it as it does have a unique taste. I remember having polenta as a child and hating it but now its really growing on me. If its not your thing you can swap it for cous-cous or pasta.

Estimated cost per portion: £0.86
Estimated calories per portion: 330

Makes 2 portions

Lemony courgettes with polenta:                         
1 large courgette
1/2 medium red onion
5/6 cherry tomatoes or 2 medium tomatoes
1/2 juice and zest of a lemon or 1/2 preserved lemon
1 tsp crushed chilli
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp sunflower oil

100g polenta
400ml water
A good knob of butter (approx. 1 tbsp)
1 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil

  1. Add the sunflower oil in a large frying pan or griddle pan and start to heat on a medium to high heat.
  2. Slice the courgette and lay out in the pan so that each one is flat. The oil should sizzle as you add them. Turn every minute until nicely browned on each side and when done place on a plate covered with a piece of kitchen towel (this will mop up any extra oil). I had to do several batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
  3. Roughly chop the red onion so as to get nice chunky sliced. Once the courgettes have been done turn the heat down to medium and add the red onion, making sure you stir so as to avoid them sticking.
  4. Half the cherry tomatoes (or if using medium tomatoes roughly chop) and add to the pan once the onion has just gone transparent. Give a good stir but try not to break up the tomatoes. Add the courgette back in along with the crushed chilli, lemon juice and zest (or roughly diced preserved lemon) and salt and pepper. Keep the heat low until the polenta is ready.
  5. Now onto the polenta: in a large sauce pan bring the 400ml of water to the boil then turn the heat right down and slowly add the polenta - making sure you are stirring or whisking all the time. The polenta will begin to thicken really quickly, when you have a good consistency turn the heat off and add the butter, rapeseed (or olive) oil and season well with salt and pepper.
Ready to serve!

L xx

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