We’ve got a flavour-packed Friday celebration going on today: crispy polenta served with an intense, tomatoey pesto and Parma ham; and the ultimate veggie burger topped with strong cheddar and a proper burger sauce.
This polenta recipe makes a delicious side dish or light meal. Simon serves the polenta squares with a fresh and zingy pesto to offset the creaminess of the polenta and the richness of the Parma ham. He adds extra texture by deep-frying to create a deliciously crunchy crust.
- Serves 4 – 6
- Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Cooking time: 15 minutes
- 180g polenta
- 750ml vegetable stock
- 75g finely grated parmesan
- 100ml double cream
For Crumb Mix
- 100g plain flour
- 2 beaten eggs
- 200g polenta mixed with 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic
- 12 sun-blushed tomatoes
- 1 bunch basil leaves
- 175ml extra virgin olive oil
- 50ml double cream
- 125g pecorino, grated
- 225g Parma ham
- In a processor, blend the nuts, garlic and tomatoes, then add the basil, cheese and oil. Check for any seasoning, then pour in the cream.
- Bring the stock to the boil, add 180g of polenta and stir well for 3 minutes.
- Add the cream and parmesan then stir again.
- Spread the mixture onto a greased lined tray and leave to cool completely.
- Cut the cooled polenta into 125mm squares. Dredge the squares in flour, then egg, then dry polenta.
- Deep fry the polenta squares for 2-3 minutes until crisp, then drain on kitchen paper.
- Sit the ham and rocket on top of the crispy polenta, then spoon over the pesto to serve.
This burger is a vegetarian delight that meat-eaters will love too. Veggie burgers are notoriously hard to perfect but Simon creates a meaty texture with mushrooms and beans, while adding tofu for protein. Serve the burger in a brioche bun with cheese and chunky chips for a meat-free feast.
- Serves 6
- Preparation time: 15 mins + 1 hr
- Cooking time: 10-12 mins
- 1 tin borlotti beans
- 1 tin chickpeas
- 150g chestnut mushrooms, chopped, fried and drained
- 6 spring onions, finely chopped
- 250g tofu, cut into fine dice
- 2 grated carrots
- Handful chopped fresh parsley
- 2 vegetarian black puddings, cubed and deep-fried
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried onion
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 100g grated pecorino
- 100g gram flour
- 75g breadcrumbs
- 1 egg and 1 yolk
- 200g mayonnaise
- 75g ketchup
- 75g yellow burger mustard
- 5 chopped gherkins
- 20ml white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- Pinch garlic powder
- Toasted burger bun
- Strong cheddar
- Pulse the chickpeas and beans until broken but not puréed.
- In large mixing bowl combine the beans with all the other burger ingredients. Leave overnight if possible, or for a minimum of 1 hour.
- Mould the mixture into 180g patties using a presentation ring. Deep-fry at 180˚C for 6-8 minutes, then top with a slice of cheddar and grill for 2-3 minutes.
- To make the sauce, blend all the ingredients until smooth.
- Assemble the bun with the sauce, salad, patty and pickle. Serve with chips and more burger sauce.
As ever, you can head to our Recipes section for all the Daily Brunch recipes so far.
Naomi, PR and Social Media Executive