My friend Ana‘s favourite colour is purple. The other day I was driving back home from her place and stopped at this little grocery store. I was into buying some vegetables for lunch and, subconsciously thinking about the conversation we had about colour that day, I decided to bring home, amongst other things, a purple cabbage. Purple cabbage isn’t the kind of vegetable I eat much. I love cabbage and cook it often but, for some reason, I’ve never cared much for the purple variety. However, after making this salad I guess that is about to change. The cabbage is “cooked” in a garlicky and vinegar-y dressing and the toasted nuts add a nice contrast thanks to their depth and earthiness. I didn’t add any fresh herbs to the whole thing because I didn’t have any at hand, but you can definitely finish it off with some finely chopped parsley or coriander. When it comes to salads, I usually think “The simpler, the better”. Work with a few ingredients, cut them appropriately, make a slighty more acidic/vinegary dressing and you’re good to go. And in case you want to know, I’ve already decided what my next “purple experiment” will be: sauerkraut.
A Purple Salad
½ medium sized / 300 g purple cabbage
½ red onion / 80 g, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons / 30 g toasted peanuts (or walnuts), coarsely chopped
for the dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 big piece / 15 g of fresh ginger, grated
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon agave nectar
zest of one orange
Remove the cabbage’s outer and tougher leaves. Then, cut the cabbage in half and remove its white stalk. Cut each half into paper thin slices. Transfer the shreds of cabbage to a large bowl.
Now, it’s time to make the dressing. Add all the dressing’s ingredients (except the ginger) to a bowl and whisk to combine. Finely grate the ginger and squeeze it over the bowl (you’re not going to use the pulp). Add the sliced onion to the bowl with the dressing and let it sit, covered and at room temperature, for at least 15 minutes. The dressing will “cook” the onion making it softer and sweeter to the palate.
Add the dressing and onion to the bowl with the shredded cabbage. Using your hands, massage the salad for at least 3 minutes or until its volume reduces by half. Serve immediately sprinkled with coarsely chopped peanuts or walnuts (preferably toasted).
I frequently spot asparagus in supermarkets and groceries stores, but they’re so expensive around here that I tend not to buy them. Plus, they usually come from very far away, which means long airplane travels and refrigeration time. I often wonder how long they have been harvested, and as much as I like eating them, that thought keeps me away from bringing them home. However, the other day I spotted locally sourced fresh asparagus and, knowing they’re in season, I prepared a simple and practical dish with this spring treat. The thing with asparagus is that you don’t want to overcook them as well as masking their flavour by combining them with a hundred different ingredients. With that in mind, this recipe came to live. The sunflower sauce is creamy and delicate in flavour making a perfect match for the grilled asparagus. I have a recipe for gram crêpes deep in the archives but, as I’m too lazy to check it out and because it’s a simple one to write down, I’m reposting it here again. Hope you enjoy this one, I’ll be coming back soon. (;
Grilled Asparagus with Sunflower Seed Sauce and Gram Crêpes
1 bunch / 300g asparagus, trimmed
for the sunflower seed sauce:
¼ c. / 35 g sunflower seeds
¼ c. / 65 ml hot water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon sal
freshly ground black pepper
for the gram crêpes:
¼ c. / 35 g gram flour
½ c. /125 ml warm water
¼ teaspoon salt
For the sauce, add all the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Process on high speed for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce gets a fairly smooth consistency. Add more hot water if you want to thin it out a bit and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
To grill the asparagus, start by brushing a griddle pan with olive oil. Turn the heat to medium-high and when the pan is hot, but no smoking, add the asparagus. Sprinkle them with sea salt and grill for 3-5 minutes on each side or until they get visible grilling marks. Set aside.
For the gram crêpes, mix all the ingredients (except the olive oil) in a bowl. Whisk until you get a thin batter with no visible lumps. In the meantime, and using a pastry brush, grease non-stick frying pan and heat it to medium heat. When the pan is hot, but not smoking, add 1/3 cup of the gram batter to it, making sure it evenly covers the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, being careful not to break the crêpe when turning it over. Add the remaining 1/3 cup of batter to the pan and repeat the proceeding.
To assemble, arrange the asparagus on a plate, spoon the sauce over them and serve the gram crêpes on the side.
Some of my culinary experiments don’t turn out as well as I thought they would, either by lacking flavour and/or photographic charisma. Lately, there were at least three dishes I conceptualized, took notes of and photographed, but ended up not posting up here because, well, they weren’t good enough. A weird tasting celeriac and roasted garlic soup, a watery korma, some herb crusted tempeh that turned out too dry after being baked… I’m well familiar with failure and I’m not defeated by it, as I try to evaluate what went wrong, what could have I done better, and so on – the worst part is, I guess, to actually eat those not so well succeeded attempts.
So, when things go wrong, I turn to what I know it’s good – and I’m here talking about these carrot and tahini muffins. I have a (healthy) obsession with tahini. I just love it. I always keep a jar of it in the fridge and another one in the pantry. I have the nasty habit of opening up the tahini jar, take a teaspoon of it, top it up with a few drops of agave nectar, and in it goes. These muffins are dense and nutty in flavour, punctuated by shreds of carrot and toasted sesame seeds. They’re the perfect accompaniment for a cup of tea in the mid-afternoon when, sometimes, that sugar cravings just start to pike up.
Carrot and Tahini Muffins
(for 8 muffins)
1 cup / 140 g buckwheat flour
1 cup / 120 g brown rice flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon flax seed meal mixed with 5 tablespoons water
1 cup / 250 ml unsweetened nut milk (I used almond milk)
½ cup / 135 g dark tahini
¾ cup / 185 ml agave nectar
1 cup / 108 g shredded carrots (about 1 large carrot)
melted coconut oil or sunflower oil to grease the muffin tins
1. Pre-heat the oven to 175º/350ºF. Grease with sunflower oil or melted coconut oil 8 muffin tins.
2. In a large bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the sesame seeds and stir well to combine.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the flax seed mixture, nut milk, tahini and agave nectar, until well incorporated.
4. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients stirring well to combine. Finally, add the grated carrots.
5. Pour the mixture into the greased muffin tins. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes (mine took exactly 23 minutes). Let the muffins cool a bit in the tins before unmolding and transferring them to a cooling rack. Eat!
When I was a kid (probably 6 or 7 years old) my parents took me on a road trip to the south of Spain. Eventually, after hours and hours of driving under a massive sunlight, we arrived at Gibraltar (which technically is a British territory). Since we were so close to the north of Africa, I proposed we could go to Morocco, something that unfortunately didn’t happen as the plan was to stay for about a week in Málaga.
Flash-forward to date and I have yet to go to Morocco. Until then, I will try to continue to bring Morocco to me by exploring its cuisine and making my own versions of dishes such as tagine and harira. The latter – a chickpea and lentil soup – is traditionally made with meat (which I obviously don’t consume) and, sometimes, rice and vermiccilli noodles. The soup is cooked for a long period of time – sometimes over an hour – and thickened up with a couple tablespoons of flour, almost verging on a hearty stew. It is a one pot meal, and what a delicious and filling one… I’ve been having Harira for dinner for the last couple of days and I can tell for sure it is the best lentil-based soup I have ever made. Its heart-warming nature makes it just the perfect meal for the few cold winter nights we still have ahead.
(serves 6 to 8)
½ cup / 95 g dried chickpeas, sorted, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1 cup / 215 g puy lentils
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion / 1 cup / 130 g finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
2 medium carrots / 1 cup / 130 g cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, coarsely pounded in a mortar
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of red pepper flakes
1 can / 2 cups / 450 ml canned tomatoes, liquidized in a food processor
5 ½ cups water
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 lemons, quartered
1. In a large pot over medium heat add the oil, onion, garlic, carrots, cinnamon, ginger, crushed cumin seeds, pepper and pepper flakes. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the onion has softened. If the mixture seems dry and the spices start to stick to the pot, add up to ¼ cup of water to loosen things up a bit.
2. Add the liquidized canned tomatoes, chickpeas and 5 cups of water to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high and let the liquid come to a boil. Once the liquid is boiling, lower the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid and cook for 30 minutes.
3. After that time, add the puy lentils and cook, covered, for another 30 minutes.
4. In the meantime, in a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with ¼ cup of water. Stir well so that the cornstarch dissolves completely.
5. At the very last minute of cooking, add the salt as well as the cornstarch mixture to the soup. Give it a good stir with a wooden spoon (it will thicken up a bit thanks to the cornstarch), have a taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve in large bowls, adding a splash of lemon juice to each individual serving.
Last weekend I went to the farmer’s market and brought home some lovely squashes (butternut and hokkaido). Throughout the week I’ve been making soups and purées with them and today, after roasting the last and bigger one, I’ve decided to make some patties out of it. What I love about hokkaido squashes is their subtle sweetness and starchy texture that, in my opinion, are enhanced by roasting. After roasting the squash I pureed it in a food processor and added some cooked red quinoa and a couple other ingredients in order to form the base of my patties.
The addition of tahini is critical to this recipe, permeating the burgers with a subtle nuttiness that makes them extra yummy. If you can’t find red quinoa feel free to swap for the white variety; on the other hand, the hokkaido could also be subbed with butternut squash. However, if you do use butternut squash you need to peel it as its skin is tougher than the one of hokkaido (which, for the last two times I made this recipe, I didn’t bother peeling). I know it’s the second time I suggest adding pan fried capers as garnish (lately, I’ve been rediscovering capers and adding them to literally everything I cook) but I do think their saltiness and tanginess pairs beautifully with these babies’ flavours.
Roasted Hokkaido Squash and Quinoa Patties
(makes 4 patties)
1 medium sized hokkaido squash, seeds removed and cut into big chunks
1 cup / 140 g cooked red quinoa
1 heaping tablespoon tahini
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup/ 40 g hazelnuts
1 big handful chopped coriander
salt and black pepper to taste
1 handful capers, drained
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180-200ºC. Arrange the squash chunks in a large baking tray, add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
2. In the meantime, toast the hazelnuts: heat a large skillet over high heat, add the hazelnuts and let them brown a bit – 3 to 4 minutes. While they’re still hot, very carefully transfer them to a clean paper towel and rub them in it. The skins will then come off easily. Roughly chop the hazelnuts.
3. When the roasted squash is cool enough to handle, measure up 1 cup or 250 g of it. Add the squash to the bowl of a food processor as well as ½ cup of the cooked quinoa, the tahini and minced garlic clove. Process until a thick puree comes together.
4. Transfer the squash and quinoa mixture to a bowl. Add the chopped hazelnuts, coriander and a pinch of freshly grated black pepper. Have a taste and adjust the flavours, adding a bit more salt if necessary. With your hands, form the mixture into 4 large patties.
5. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat add the patties and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, only turning them once. As soon as the burgers are done cooking, transfer them to a large platter but don’t turn off the heat yet – you can now pan fry the capers. Add the capers and one additional tablespoon of oil to the skillet and cook them until they’re golden brown. Scatter the capers on top of the patties and serve immediately.
Just by looking at the number of pasta dishes posted on this blog so far – this one is the second – you can tell I’m not a huge pasta lover. If I’m only cooking for myself I generally don’t bother about adding rice, pasta or the likes just because I don’t care much for starches – I’ll be more than happy eating cooked legumes, tofu or any other source of vegetable protein over a big pile of either raw or cooked veggies.
Every now and then people tell me they struggle to make a main vegetarian dish because there isn’t a sort of “centre piece” (like a piece of meat or fish) around which the whole dish is built. I never actually thought things had to be like that in the sense that stews, salads or pasta dishes with several vegetables and legumes included can make very satisfying meals. However, having said this, I recognize the fact that this blog is probably lacking some main courses, so here it comes one.
Me and my dad had this dish for lunch yesterday and we both enjoyed it very much. It’s the kind of dish I would serve to my pasta lover brother (and, sadly for me, meat lover as well), as it is very substantial and, apparently, quite appealing to the non-vegans palate. Puy lentils are my favourite kind of lentils to cook with because they hold their shape perfectly after being cooked – regular brown or green lentils do not – and can be used in lots of different ways. The recipe bellow makes a lot of sauce and we ended up eating it today as a filling to savoury chickpea flour crêpes.
A quick note on the beer: I used a very light and sweet five-grain german organic beer in here. You could use pretty much any kind of beer you want when making this sauce but I’d just stay way from strong tasting ones (such as dark stouts) as they could probably lend a bitter taste to the whole dish.
Oh, and last but not the least: say hi to the kitties! We adopted Pudim (the tuxedo) and Calipo last summer. They’re both 8 months old and truly are rambunctious kittens: as I type this they’re running around like there’s no tomorrow fighting over a paper ball. It’s my first time as a cat
owner slave and all I can tell is that I’m in love with these animals and cats in general. They’re quite an addiction. To find them curled up in my bed, sleeping, almost every morning when I’m about to wake up puts the biggest smile on my face.
Lentil-Beer Sauce Penne with Garlicky Kale
(serves 4, as a main)
for the lentil-beer sauce:
1 medium sized onion / 120 g / 1 cup finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
a pinch of red pepper flakes
215 g / 1 cup puy lentils
1 bottle / 330 ml beer
250 ml / 1 cup vegetable stock
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups / 200 g whole wheat penne
for the garlicky kale:
135 g / aprox. 2 1/3 packed cups kale, large centre ribs and stems removed and coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
1. In a large pan, add the onion, olive oil, rosemary and red pepper flakes an sautée, over medium heat, for a couple of minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. If the mixture seems too dry, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water.
2. Add the puy lentils, beer, stock and tomato paste and increase the heat so that the added liquid comes to a boil. Once boiling, decrease the heat to low-medium, cover the pan and let the lentils cook for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked but still al dente.
3. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. After the pasta is done cooking, drain it but reserve a bit of its cooking liquid (no more than ¼ cup).
4. In the meantime, prepare the garlicky kale. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, garlic and kale. Sautée for 3 to 4 minutes or until the kale is slightly wilted. At the very last minute of cooking, season with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
5. In a large bowl or platter, add the cooked pasta and its remaining water, a couple tablespoons of the sauce (only enough to coat the pasta) and the kale. Mix it all together with a large spoon and serve immediately, garnished with fried capers or a couple teaspoons of brewer’s yeast scattered on top.
I was a little doubtful about posting this one because it’s a recipe that doesn’t aim to convert non-beet fans to beet lovers. It’s actually aimed at those people who, like myself, adore beets and cook them often. Most of the time, it’s suggested that, in order to prepare beets, you should either boil or roast them. Out of those two methods, I prefer roasting as it lends a smoky flavour to the beets; however, it can take up from 40 to 50 minutes if your beets are medium sized. The other day, I found myself trying to master the julienne technique and, without carrots in sight, I practiced with beets. The whole chopping thing took me a while – I can be a bit of a perfectionist sometimes – but, unless you’re aiming at getting perfect beet matchsticks (which I didn’t get anyway), the chopping process will only take you a couple of minutes. Alternatively, you can get the job done in no time using a mandolin. I decided to sautée the beet matchsticks with some coriander seeds and ended up with a dish that I found really flavourful in around 15 minutes. If you’re going to make this one please don’t skip the walnuts – they’re crucial to balance out the beets’ sweetness and add a very pleasant nuttiness to the whole thing.
Sautéed Beets with Coriander Seeds and Walnuts
(serves 4, as a side)
3 large beets / roughly 320 gr cut into matchsticks of about 0,7 cm width
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 teaspoons coriander seeds, ground in a mortar and pestle
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 big handful toasted walnuts
1 handful chopped coriander leaves
a splash of lemon juice
1. In a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, the beets and the coriander seeds. Sautée for 1 to 2 minutes and, as soon as the pan starts sizzling, cover it with a lid. Let the beets cook for 10-12 minutes, lifting the lid once or twice to give it a good stir, or until al dente. At the very last minute of cooking, add the red wine vinegar, salt and toasted walnuts to the beets. Stir well and transfer to a platter, finishing up with a splash of lemon juice and chopped coriander. The beets are particularly good served over cooked brown rice.
Last year was demanding – both physically as well as emotionally – to say the least. A lot of things have happened – some of them were actually quite good, while others were surprising and unexpected in not so good ways. I’ve cooked almost everyday throughout the whole year and never been away from the kitchen, but I guess I just felt uninspired most of the time. That, plus being busy working on other things that left me intellectually drained – 2012 was the year I wrote and presented my master’s thesis – were the major issues that kept me away from this place from what now seems to be a very long time.
However, I’m back. This year I decided to make this blog a priority because either creating recipes from scratch or adapting them from other sources is what makes me happy and what I think I’m good at. To start off the year and to reinaugurate this little place of mine I’m posting a salad recipe I’ve been making a lot.
Basically, every weekend my grandmother buys me this huge bunch of kale. I’ve made tons of stews with it, sautéed it with garlic and olive oil multiple times, added it to soups, until I ran out of ideas on how to use it. However, if munching on raw leafs of kale is one of my favourite snacks while preparing dinner, why not to come up with a recipe that calls for this lovely vegetable in its natural state? Raw kale is wonderful in salads thanks to its intense, slightly bitter and cholrophyll-y taste. However, to make the most out it you’ll need to massage its leaves in order to make them softer in texture and sweeter to the palate. Massaging kale leaves will also break down their cellulose structure and make them more easily digestible. This salad calls for kale as its base but all the other ingredients can be easily replaced – instead of pomegranate you could use grapes or tangerine segments, and almonds would also work well in place of the walnuts.
Raw Kale and Pomegranate Salad
(serves 4, as a side)
2 cups (packed) / 110 gr raw kale, coarsely chopped
½ cup / 75 gr pomegranate seeds
half of an avocado (aprox. 100 gr) cut into small slices
¼ cup / 30 gr walnuts, coarsely chopped and lightly toasted
for the dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. In a small bowl, combine all the dressing’s ingredients. Set aside.
2. Add the kale to a large bowl and combine it with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt and a few drops of lemon juice. Massage the kale leaves, rubbing them with your hands for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they reduce to half of their original volume and change their colour from bright to dark green.
3. Add the pomegranate seeds, the avocado slices and walnuts to the now tenderized kale. Add the dressing and toss well. Serve the salad right away.
This salad recipe is inspired by the popular festivities held in Lisbon and Porto around this time of the year. In these events, it’s common seeing people gathering on the streets to eat, and you can literally feel the smell of barbecued foods in the air wherever you go – mostly sardines and peppers. I don’t eat sardines (or any fish for that matter), so I came up with a recipe that still conveys the spirit of the festivities, but that is animal-free. I don’t usually brag about recipes I post here on the blog but I have a special place in my heart (and belly) for this one. I made this salad three times since last week and I seem not to get enough of it (as a matter of fact, I also had it for lunch today). To make it more of a complete (nutrionally speaking) meal, you can toss in some grilled tofu or cooked red beans. You could also eat it in a bruschetta, by grilling some bread slices and topping it up with spoonfuls of the salad (I’d leave the potatoes out in that case). I believe you can add flavour to your foods without depending on oil to get it, but it’s crucial to this recipe to use the amount of the said ingredient specified in the directions and not a bit less .The oil and vinegar mixture will coat the vegetables thoroughly, imparting them a beautiful flavour so, make also sure you use a good quality olive oil in here. Olive oil is a key ingredient to many Portuguese-inspired dishes, and this one really is no exception. Enjoy!
Grilled Pepper and Onion Salad with New Potatoes
(serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side)
1 medium sized red pepper, cut into strips
1 medium sized green pepper, cut into strips
1 large onion, cut into rings
10 small new potatoes, skins on (about 300 grams)
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing the vegetables
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon capers (optional, but highly recommended)
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 small handful coriander, coarsely chopped
1. Fill a medium sized pan with water, add the potatoes and about 1 teaspoon of salt, and let it boil. Once boiling, decrease the heat to medium and cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes. Then, pass them through cold running water. Transfer the potatoes to a cutting board and when they’re cool enough to handle, cut them into halves. Set aside.
2. Brush a grilling pan with olive oil and set it on high heat. When it’s hot, but not smoking, add the peppers’ strips, skin side down, seasoned with a pinch of salt. Grill them for 7 to 10 minutes, or until slightly charred – to get visible grilling marks, I like to press down the peppers’ strips with the back of a spoon against the grilling surface. Grill on the other side for about 5 minutes. Transfer the grilled peppers to a plate and set aside.
3. Add the onion rings (also lightly salted) to the grilling pan and cook them for 3 to 4 minutes or until soft and browned.
4. In a medium sized bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of olive oil with the red wine vinegar. Add a pinch of salt and whisk until incorporated.
5. Put all the vegetables (onion, peppers’ strips and boiled potatoes) on a large serving plate. Pour the oil and vinegar mixture over them and toss well. Finally, add the capers (if using), minced garlic and coriander on top. Serve immediately.
I’m so sorry for my absence around here but, lately, and for various reasons, my life has been a bit on the hectic side. Anyway, today I wanted to talk with you about polenta, something I recently found out I’m particularly good at making. There’s this friend of mine – Hi Ana M.! – who had had polenta twice and was quite disappointed at how bland it tasted. For a birthday party we were both invited to, I made thick pan-fried polenta slabs and not only did she enjoy, but also asked me for the recipe. I don’t follow a recipe for this particular dish, and usually add whatever herbs I have on hand and whatever quantity of polenta there’s left on the package but, this time around, in order to write down the recipe for her (and for you as well), I measured the ingredients. Also, on a recent get-together to which I brought polenta fries, everyone at the table realised they go extremely well with guacamole – the creaminess of this avocado-based spread contrast so nicely with the crunchy polenta. You probably don’t need a recipe for guacamole (who does?) but, anyway, I decided to include in the post the way I usually do it.
(makes enough for 4 to 6 people)
for the polenta fries:
2 cups (350 g) polenta (I used an organic brand)
4 cups (1 liter) water
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
for the guacamole:
2 medium-sized avocados (150 g), peeled, cored, and mashed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
pinch of salt
red chilli, minced
1. In a pan over medium heat, combine the polenta with water. Add the salt and stir constantly for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it reaches a very thick consistency. At this point, add the herbs and stir once again to incorporate.
2. Spread the polenta in a baking tray of about 25×35 cm. Smooth the top with the help of a spatula. Let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes, and then put it in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, or until chilled.
3. Adjust the oven rack to the upper third position and pre-heat the oven to 250ºC/480ºF.
4. Cut the polenta into thick “fries” (mine were about 2 cm wide).
5. Brush a large baking tray with olive oil. Add the polenta fries and brush each one of them with olive oil as well.
6. Bake the polenta fries in the upper third of the oven, for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Serve with the sauces of your choice. Goes particularly well with guacamole (recipe follows) and tomato-base sauces.
for the guacamole:
1. Add all the ingredients (except the olive oil and the minced red chilli) to the mashed avocados. Drizzle with olive oil and, finally, sprinkle with the minced red chilli and a bit more salt.