Polenta and chard chips with rich tomato sauce
- June 2016
- Serves 4-6
- Hands-on time 1 hour 20 min, oven time 3 hours 55 min, plus chilling
Forget potato fries – Zita Steyn’s polenta and chard chips are the snacks of the future. Serve them with the rich tomato sauce and you’ve got yourself an unforgettable side.
- Vegetarian recipes
- 8.4g (3.6g saturated)
- 47.1g (11.2g sugars)
Per serving (for 6)
- 200g swiss or rainbow chard, or dark leafy greens
- 40g unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 280g medium or coarse polenta (we used quick-cook)
- 1 tsp salt
- Rapeseed oil for brushing
For the tomato sauce
- 1kg vine tomatoes, halved
- 2 large red onions, finely chopped
- Olive oil for roasting
- 2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 whole garlic bulb, skin on, cut in half horizontally
- Pinch cayenne pepper or clear honey to taste (optional)
- Cut the stalks off the chard leaves, chop them into small pieces and set aside. Chop the leaves into bite-size pieces and set aside separately.
- In a large, deep saucepan, melt the butter, then fry the onion with a pinch of salt over a medium heat. Add the chard stalks and cook for 5-10 minutes until tender, then add the leaves and sauté for 1 minute.
- Bring 1.4 litres water to the boil in a large saucepan, then stir in the polenta. Whisk with a balloon whisk until thickened, then stir in the salt and some pepper. Cover and cook over a low heat for 10-20 minutes until the polenta thickens and begins to come away from the side of the pan as you stir. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and smooth with the back of a spoon. Leave to cool, then chill for a few hours to set – it needs to be completely cold before cutting.
- To make the tomato sauce, heat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2. Toss the tomatoes and onions in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then season with salt and pepper and arrange in a baking tray, cut-side up. Roast for 2-2½ hours.
- Rub some oil on the cut sides of the garlic halves, then wrap in foil and roast for 1 hour or until soft.
- Scrape the tomatoes and onions into a blender, squeeze out the soft garlic from the skin and blend until smooth. Taste and season; add cayenne pepper if you want spice, honey if you want sweetness.
- Turn the oven up to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Cut the polenta into chips about 1.5cm thick and 8cm long. Put on a baking sheet and brush all over with rapeseed oil. Roast for 1 hour or until golden, carefully turning after 30 minutes. Warm the sauce to serve with the chips.
Recipe is from Zita Steyn’s cookbook Good Better Green, available from Quadrille for £16.99.
The cooked, uncut polenta will keep for 2 days, covered, in the fridge. The sauce will keep for 5 days in a container; reheat before serving.
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