Baked Rosemary Polenta Chips

So the first time I had polenta chips was on a day out in Birmingham with a former partner, he and I had been at the Good Food Show and stayed on in the area and gone out in the city for lunch one day and by chance ordered these as a starter. I never forgot them and have had several goes at creating a healthy, baked version apposed to fried but this is by far the best variation I’ve managed.

I love the combination of Italian cheese, rosemary and polenta and this more health-conscious baked version takes away a little of the guilt whilst still providing the real comfort-food enjoyment. Great in spring and early summer with a cold beer, or as an accompaniment for anything in colder months, the combination provides a crisp, golden exterior with a light and fluffy interior that is just irresistible. They’re fine cold, if a little denser – but they won’t last that long. Enjoy them at their best.

INGREDIENTS

200g quick cook polenta

500ml organic veg stock – I use Kallo

50g grated Grana Padano

Pinch of Maldon Sea Salt, ground and a generous grinding of fresh cracked black pepper

½ tsp fresh finely chopped rosemary

Leaves of a sprig of fresh rosemary, to top when baking

METHOD

Line a 12×12 baking pan or Pyrex dish

Dilute a good quality stock cube to 500ml water – I use Kallo cubes

Finely chop the fresh rosemary and grate the cheese

Add the rosemary to, and season, the still-dry polenta. I like a lot of black pepper but think about what you like and remember the cheese will bring some saltiness to this – but equally polenta can take a lot of seasoning

Add the stock to a large pan, and let it start to boil. When it does, turn to a medium temperature and gradually whisk in the polenta

When the polenta is coming away from the side of the pan, and sticking to the whisk, add in the cheese and turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish – leave to set for an hour

When set, chop into chips and scatter with more rosemary and a tiny little bit of olive oil

Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the edges are starting to look golden – at 200 degrees fan

Serve warm alone or with any sort of mayo, aioli or pesto, more fresh rosemary or more dried Italian hard cheese

Enjoy lovely people!x

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