Wild Herb Polenta


While you may be reading through this recipe thinking, "fresh spring herbs seem awfully out of place on a holiday recipe guide" and you would be write. The winter is in no way synonymous with lush fresh herbs but that's one of the reasons we love this recipe for our holiday tables. The hearty, starchy, earthy flavors of traditional holiday recipes are effortlessly complemented but this brighter side dish. Soft polenta entangles a host of vibrant fresh herbs and is brushed generously with olive oil fragranced with aromatic coriander, sage, and mustard seed in this stunning recipe by Krautkopf from their absolutely amazing self-titled cookbook.


Krautkop is the creation of Susann Probst & Yannic Schon and the photography and recipes on the site are consistently and remarkably outstanding. We can—and have—spent hours scrolling through the pages of their site unable to decide which flawless recipe we would try because each of them is strikingly well balanced and staggeringly beautiful. This recipe is no exception. While Probst and Schon offer a plethora of more seasonally-appropriate winter dishes, it's their wild herb polenta that we will be serving with our holiday dinners this year to offer balance against our richer heartier dishes. Plus, this recipe is dairy free, gluten free, and vegan so it can be enjoyed by all your holiday guests!

 

Every year, we are delighted like tiny tots to sow our herbs and vegetables. The balcony is whipped into shape and every year some pots and boxes are added. When everything is ripe we have barely a place to sit but until then we have several months. Even if the range of vegetables grows bit by bit in spring, there are already plenty of herbs which are not only healthy but also for free! Of course, before you start collecting them you need to inform yourself and also wash the plants thoroughly. However, we all recognize stinging nettle, dandelion, and daisies, don’t we? If you don’t like the bitter note of some of the wild herbs you should take the very young leaflets. You can also put the dandelions in salt water for 20 minutes detract the bitterns. We like to eat the herbs in salad, as pesto, or chopped in polenta. We’d like to present you a delicious recipe from our cookbook. By the way, you can vary the size of the pan for gratinating the polenta. The bigger, the crispier the polenta, the smaller, the more fluffy inside.




FOR 3 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 150 g spinach

  • 150 g (wild) herbs (eg. 1 bunch wild garlic, parsley, burnet, some chives, sorrel and nettles, some dandelion leaves and watercress)

  • 1 shallot

  • 1 l vegetable stock

  • sea salt

  • 250 g instant polenta

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • black pepper

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

  • 1 bunch of sage

  • 2 tsp brown mustard seeds



PREPARATION:


Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C air circulation). Grease a springform pan (Ø 24 cm). Wash the spinach and the herbs (except for the sage) and shake until dry. Pluck the leaves – for the stinging nettles you preferably wear kitchen gloves. Roughly chop the herbs and the spinach.

Peel and finely dice the shallot.

Boil up the vegetable broth and thoroughly salt it. Stir in the polenta and let it well at low heat for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp virgin olive oil and sauté the herbs and spinach at low heat until it collapses. Season the herbs with salt and pepper, and gently fold it in the polenta. Fill everything in the pan and bake it for about 20 minutes until the polenta is slightly crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.

In the meantime, wash the sage and gently dab it dry. Roughly grind the coriander seeds. Wipe the pan, heat the remaining 4 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the sage at medium heat until crispy. Lift out the leaflets and degrease them on kitchen paper. Now, add the coriander and mustard seeds to the oil and shortly let them to draw. Spread the sage and spicy oil on the ready polenta, and let the polenta cake cool down a bit before cutting.