Appetisers/ Starters / Friday Challenge / Gluten Free / Lunch / Polenta / Sharing Platters / Vegan

Spanish Inspired Black Olive Polenta with a Smokey Tomato Sauce


This recipe is an adaptation from the Chilli, Cheese and Rosemary polenta dish from River Cottage Veg that I posted at the beginning of my polenta challenge (you can see that post here). Out of all the ways I have now tried cooking polenta, setting it and then frying it was my favourite!

I wanted to create more of a complete meal  which could be served up as lunch with a glass of wine and maybe a selection of salads or breads. I love spanish food and immediately thought of spanish influences such as olives, chilli, smoked paprika – all big rustic flavours! I think getting the balance of all the flavours was important as it was going to be quite bold but over all I think this dish is a lovely rustic vegetarian lunch!

I didn’t use cheese in my polenta because I think it would have been lost against the olives, it also meant this would be suitable for vegans.

Serves 2

For the tomato sauce:

2 Cloves Garlic
1 Small Onion
1 Can Chopped Tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
100g Spinach
Large Handful of Broad Beans

Heat some oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook on a medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and spices and reduce the sauce for another 8-10 minutes so it’s nice and thick.

In batches add the spinach to the pan, stir it with the tomatoes untill wilted then add another batch. Once all the spinach is wilted in the pan add the broad beans, cook for another 2 minutes then take the pan off the heat and put to one side.

For the Polenta discs:

1 Garlic Clove
1 Red Chilli
50g Black Olives
75g Polenta
400ml Water
Salt and Pepper

Finely chop the garlic, chilli and black olives. In a frying pan heat some oil then add the chopped ingredients and fry for a few minutes untill the garlic is cooked through. You will get some lovely aromas come up at this point. Take them off the heat and put to one side.

In a saucepan boil the water then pour in the polenta in a steady stream whilst stirring continuously. Cook for around 6-7 minutes whilst stirring untill the polenta is smooth. Add the garlic, chilli and olives and mix together well.

Pour the polenta on to a cold plate and spread it out so it is evenly spread and around 1.5cm thick.

Allow this to cool down and set. Then cut discs from the polenta (around 3 or4 each) using either a cookie cutter or I used an upside down glass to create discs.

Add a little more oil to the frying pan and fry the polenta discs for 2-3 minutes on each side untill crispy and golden.

Serve hot!

NB: I have posted this recipe on Wellness Weekend over at Diet Dessert and Dogs blog – please go check it out there are some great recipes from Ricki and other contributors 🙂

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12 thoughts on “Spanish Inspired Black Olive Polenta with a Smokey Tomato Sauce

  1. I do love a good polenta but haven’t had it in ages! This one looks particularly appealing–love olives! Great idea. And thanks so much for linking up to Wellness Weekend this week! 🙂

    • Thank you! how exciting 🙂 I will do my post on it next week. I’d recommend trying polenta! I had no idea what it was going to be like but I found it really easy to use and you can flavour it with so many different things x

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