Rosemary polenta bites with peperonata
Serve our rosemary polenta bites with peperonata as canapés or a starter ahead of a celebration. They're ideal for a special occasion such as Christmas
- Serves: 18 persons
- 1tbsp olive oil, plus extra for the tin and tray
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 125g quick-cook polenta
- 25g grated vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese
- 3rosemary sprigs, needles picked and finely chopped
- 3tbsp olive oil
- 1onion, halved and finely sliced
- 3peppers (a mixture of colours is nice), finely sliced
- 1large garlic clove, crushed
- 3tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1tbsp capers, drained
Step 1For the peperonata, heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and sizzle the onion and peppers for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the vinegar and 2 tsp sugar, then reduce the heat and cook for 20-30 mins, partially covered with a lid and splashing in a little water if the pan looks dry, until the peppers are soft and jammy. Stir in the capers. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then chill in a sealed container until ready to serve. Will keep chilled for four days or frozen for up to six months.
Step 2Line a 20cm square baking tin with baking parchment and rub a little oil over the surface and sides. Bring the stock to the boil, then stir in the polenta. Cook, stirring, for 5 mins, until thick, like loose mashed potato.
Step 3Add the cheese and rosemary, and season with salt. Stir for another minute, then pour the polenta into the prepared tin and level the surface. Leave to cool, then chill for at least 30 mins until set firm. Can be made up to a day before serving and chilled.
Step 4Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Take the peperonata out of the fridge and leave to come to room temperature. Turn out the set polenta onto a chopping board and cut into nine squares, then cut each square into two triangles. Arrange the triangles on a lightly oiled baking tray and bake for 25 mins until crisp. Leave to cool for 5-10 mins, then serve warm topped with the peperonata and shaved cheese.