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.
Serving Size: 4
- 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
to make the polenta:
- Bring a pot with 4 cups of water to boil.
- Add a pinch of salt.
- 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.
- The polenta is ready once it pulls away from the sides of the pot as you stir.
- When the polenta is done, remove from the heat.
- Add the lemon zest, and chopped herbs, and a dash of nutmeg is also nice.
- Pour the polenta into a oiled pie pan and set in the refrigerator to cool and harden.
to make the gooseberry relish:
- Heat in a saucepan 1/2 of the gooseberries, with the sugar, ginger, vinegar and chili with a pinch of salt.
- Cook gently for 20-25 minutes until it has thickened.
- Gently smash the gooseberries using the back of the spoon and add the splash of the optional chamomile syrup if using.
- Add the other 1/2 of the gooseberries and cook for 10-15 minutes until just soft, but still holding their shape.
- Remove the relish from the heat.
to serve the meal:
- Slice the polenta in individual size portions.
- You can either bake the polenta slices golden brown in the oven, or fry in a frying pan, whichever you prefer.
- 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.
- Garnish with basil leaves and optionally some edible flowers and enjoy.
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.