Polenta Party!Posted on June 1st, 2011 by grahamandgreen
I was inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's polenta recipes in this weekend's Guardian mag. With some friends coming over for dinner I thought I would try this out on them (Dev doesn't eat meat or fish so it seemed the perfect opportunity)! It was a hit. Phew.
Polenta makes a good crust for a spring or summer tart. You can, of course, make this from scratch, but you can also make it from any leftover cooked polenta. To make this, or the next two dishes, vegetarian, use another mature hard cheese instead of the parmesan.
1 tsp olive oil
300g fine or instant polenta
80g finely grated parmesan
4 tbsp finely chopped chives
300g thin asparagus, trimmed
3 eggs, beaten
240ml double cream
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g gruyère, grated
Heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Take a 25cm tart tin with a removable base and grease with olive oil.
Either cook the polenta as described above or, if using instant, follow the instructions on the packet. Stir in the cheese and stir for five minutes more. Stir in the chives and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. Spoon the polenta into the tart tin. Spread it evenly over the bottom and up the sides to a thickness of about 4mm (keep back a tablespoon or two, to mend any cracks that appear after cooking). Bake until dry and crisp around the edges, about 30 minutes. If there are any cracks in the tart shell, fill with the reserved polenta.
For the filling, lightly steam the asparagus for three minutes and lay in the polenta case. Whisk the eggs, cream and mustard, and season well. Pour over asparagus, sprinkle on the cheese and bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and just set.