Sunday, 15 November 2015

Polenta Canapes

We recently had a double baby shower at the office, so of course I brought some vegan snacks along so I wouldn't go hungry. Besides the standard carrot and cucumber sticks with homemade hummus, I wanted to bring something special because I enjoy impressing non-vegan people with delicious vegan food. And they were impressed - yay!

These are very simple, but their canape miniature-ness makes them look all fancy and gourmet, and they are very tasty. I used my homemade onion and thyme jam, but this could easily be replaced with a store bought version. I also topped them with some homegrown origanum leaves, which gives a fresh herby flavour.


1 cup polenta
3 cups boiling water
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1/2 cup vegan mayo (I use B-Well)
1 butternut (you will only use half)
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup onion and thyme jam
1 small bunch fresh origanum

Place the boiling water in a large pot on medium to high heat. Add the polenta and salt and stir consistently until the polenta is fully cooked and as much water as possible has evaporated. You want it to be very thick so that it sets nicely. This takes only about 10-15 minutes.  Pour the polenta into a rectangular dish, about 30cm x 20cm in dimension and smooth with a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon so that is is fairly flat. Leave to cool completely, then place in the fridge to set. I cooked mine a day ahead so that it could set very well, but it should be ready in about three hours if you want to do it in one day.

Cut the long part of the butternut into 1cm thick medallions, coat with olive oil and roast on high heat for about 10 minutes on each side or until it is tender. Allow to cool.

Use a small cookie cutter (mine is blossom shaped and about 3cm in diameter) to cut the polenta into bites and place on a tray. Do the same with the butternut. You should get about two to three per medallion, depending on the diameter of the butternut.

Top the polenta bites with a teaspoon of vegan mayo, then with a piece of butternut, then onion jam and finish off with fresh oreganum leaves. Serve on a pretty platter and let the compliments roll in!

Tip: Coat the polenta off-cuts in a little olive oil and place under the grill for about 15 minutes for some oddly shaped but delicious polenta chips. Use the roast butternut off-cuts in a brown rice, beetroot and rocket salad. No need for waste :)

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