April 08, 2006

Polenta dinner

I am home alone this weekend, which caused me to indulge in Italian charcuteries - prosciutto and salami. Why eat boring just because you are alone? And also today I got the happy news that one of my best friends gave birth to a baby girl yesterday, so this dinner is also in celebration of little S.

I am trying to make something about my kitchen cabinets again, which are bulging with this and that. Today when I rummaged around for something to pair my salami with I caught sight of an unopened box of polenta and two tins of beans. I have never had polenta, but I bought the box because I liked the idea so much. Sadly the polenta didn´t live up to my expectations. It was good, but didn´t taste much though I had used quite a lot of fresh basil, salt and pepper. Next time I will cook it with some stock instead, and also next time I will have learned how to smear it out (with the back of a spoon which you dip in cold water). I don´t give the recipe here, follow the instructions on the box instead! I followed the recipe from a cookbook and all went wrong...

With the beans I made a simple but crunchy and flavourful salad, one of my own favourite recipes - made up by yours truly for an emergency lunch once upon a time.

Bean salad
serves 3-4
200-300 ml of mixed cold cooked beans, I used black beans and big white beans because I had them on hand. Chick peas and kidney beans are also great.
Mixed greens like cucumber, tomato, peppers, avocado - use what you like
A small handful of finely cholled or sliced onion, this time I used spring onions but red onion is good too
And now the secret ingredient: one peeled and diced tart apple. This salad is not nearly as good without it

Combine everything in a bowl and drizzle over a simple vinaigrette sauce. I made mine just plain today with olive oil, vinegar and a pinch of herbes de Provence - but use garlic or dijon mustard if you like. (Proportions? 2 parts vinegar, three parts oil (or two parts oil and one water). Spice to taste with salt, pepper, herbs, mustard or something and whisk together.)
Mix carefully and let it sit for a little while to let all the flavours explode

Serve (this time) with slices of fried polenta and Italian charcuteries. Enjoy your meal! I did. The somewhat bland polenta was excellent in company with the meat and the salad.


Ivonne said...


Salami and good prosciutto make a wonderful dinner ... congratulations to your friend who gave birth!

Clivia said...

Yes Ivonne, it was really delicious but I got real thirsty afterwards from all the salt! By the way I have found new inspiration to make my own pasta - I´ll keep you posted.