Monday, October 06, 2008


Southwestern Succotash and Griddled Polenta

It's been a long time - I know. I have started an allotment blog (www.theallotmentblog.co.uk) and am failing to keep this or that updated. But both have been very useful to me, as memory aid and inspiration, so I'm going to do my best to keep them going.

We have just returned from a trip to Canada - where we ate so much good food! Tofino, Vancouver and Victoria in particular are great places for foodies. All of my holiday shopping was food-related, and included 'smoky southwest' seasonings, chocolate for cooking, a madeleine tray, cookery books and new table napkins for autumn. When oh When will Williams-Sonoma open a store in the UK? Preferably in Exeter...

This recipe is based on a southwestern ratatouille that I ate at Coyote's Grill in Banff (PICTURED ABOVE). It was served with polenta, which was cooked a bit more softly than I've decided I like. I also took inspiration from the recipe for Lima Bean and Corn Succotash in Bon Appetit, which I read and then lost at Calgary airport (and am now subscribed to both Gourmet and Bon Appetit - there are so many wonderful food magazines in Canada!). The bean, corn and squash combination is the '3 Sisters' from the allotment and this dish makes the most of all three, which are now - of course - in season. (I loved the roadside pumpkin patches on Vancouver Island!) Anyway - less talk, more eating.

POLENTA
1 cup polenta (Merchant Gourmet)
4 cups warm water
Pinch vegetable bouillon
1tsp salt and pepper
1tsp butter
100g feta


Cover a small baking tray with cling film and set close by. Bring water + bouillon to a rolling boil and tip in the polenta, stirring. Now protect your hands as the thickening polenta bubbles madly! Ouch! Stir frequently (but not constantly) over medium heat for five minutes. Stir in the butter, seasoning and feta, crumbled, and smooth the mixture into a slab on the baking tray. Cool for about an hour. This makes enough for 4 people. To finish, cut into 8 triangles (toast-sized slices) and put onto a hot griddle that has been brushed with oil. Griddle for about 20 minutes until golden and crunchy on both sides - surprisingly good!

Succotash
1/2 butternut or other sweet squash, diced 1cm

2 small corn cobs, corn removed
1 cup borlotti, broad or soya beans
2 tomatoes, chopped
1tsp tomato puree
Pinch sugar, salt and pepper
1 jalapeno, diced
1tbsp each basil and coriander, sliced
Squeeze lemon juice


Simmer the borlotti for about 20 mins in light stock, adding the corn 5 mins before the end. Warm some olive oil and cook the squash gently for 30 minutes, adding the tomatoes, puree, seasonings and half a cup of water 5 mins from the end (for quite a dry result). Stir in the beans and lemon juice, turn heat to high and warm through; add herbs and serve.

2 comments:

Natasha said...

Hey there!

Your recipes are good!! I'll try some soon.. :) I'd like to invite you to join us at www.womenetcetera.com, a website and community for women in our 50s who believe in living full lives by embracing transitions and changing with the times. We love making new friends, sharing new experiences and taking charge of our own lives. We'd love to have you join because you sure do sound like one of us!:)

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