Herbed Polenta with Vegan Cheese and Gooseberry-Chili Relish

We enjoyed this delicious recipe as an appetizer for our main meal. It would be lovely as a snack, or even a buffet or brunch.

Herbed polenta with vegan Cheese and a gooseberry-Chili Relish

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces polenta
  • 4 cups water
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs
  • 8 ounces vegan ‘goat cheese’ or other strong flavored non dairy cheese
  • 1 lb. gooseberries, top and tailed
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 red chili pepper’s seeds removed and sliced in very fine slices
  • splash of chamomile syrup (optional)
  • basil leaves and edible flowers as garnish

Herbed polenta with vegan cheese and a gooseberry-chili relish

Directions:

to make the polenta:

  1. Bring a pot with 4 cups of water to boil.
  2. Add a pinch of salt.
  3. Add the polenta and stir as it thickens and cooks down. Be careful as you stir as the splattering from the boiling polenta can burn.
  4. The polenta is ready once it pulls away from the sides of the pot as you stir.
  5. When the polenta is done, remove from the heat.
  6. Add the lemon zest, and chopped herbs, and a dash of nutmeg is also nice.
  7. Pour the polenta into a oiled pie pan and set in the refrigerator to cool and harden.

to make the gooseberry relish:

  1. Heat in a saucepan 1/2 of the gooseberries, with the sugar, ginger, vinegar and chili with a pinch of salt.
  2. Cook gently for 20-25 minutes until it has thickened.
  3. Gently smash the gooseberries using the back of the spoon and add the splash of the optional chamomile syrup if using.
  4. Add the other 1/2 of the gooseberries and cook for 10-15 minutes until just soft, but still holding their shape.
  5. Remove the relish from the heat.

to serve the meal:

  1. Slice the polenta in individual size portions.
  2. You can either bake the polenta slices golden brown in the oven, or fry in a frying pan, whichever you prefer.
  3. Place a slice of polenta on each plate, Put a generous portion of vegan cheese on top of the polenta and drizzle the relish on top and at the side.
  4. Garnish with basil leaves and optionally some edible flowers and enjoy.

Notes:

This recipe was adapted and translated from a German recipe on Mestolo: DAS vegetarische Kochblog!
It was easy to adapt the recipe to be vegan by using a vegan cheese as an alternative to the goat cheese. We also added a splash of chamomile syrup to the relish to contrast the sourness of the gooseberries. There are many wonderful vegetarian recipes on this blog.



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