Snacks are my main love, sorry Russ (my long-suffering boyfriend). If I could, I would happily graze all day long. Savoury beats sweet hands down, in my opinion. But I tend to find that there are limited healthy savoury options that you actually want to eat! Rice cakes, celery, carrot sticks… all bland and boring. I’d rather eat cardboard thanks.
Don’t worry, Polenta is here to save the day. It’s a superhero in snack form. This little grain is low-carbohydrate and rich in vitamins A, C & B6. As well as being a great source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. Oh and it doesn’t taste as healthy as it sounds! What’s not to love? Well, when transformed into this crispy, heavenly snack no one can complain.
I’ve made this polenta from scratch but if you’re lazy you can buy pre-made and set packs of polenta. The only downside to this is it’s probably processed and stuffed with enough salt to kill a garden full of snails, so with that being said perhaps just make it from scratch too. Unless you don’t give a shit about your sodium levels, there are many days where I couldn’t care less either. So rock on you salty sea dogs.
If you do use the pre-made stuff skip the first few steps of this recipe.
- 300g polenta
- 1.5litres of water
- 100g of butter (or alternative spread)
- 60g Parmesan (or if wanting to make this vegetarian substitute for a different cheese)
- Salt & black pepper
- Pour the water into a large heavy-based saucepan, add 1tsp of salt and bring to the boil.
- Once boiling pour the polenta into the liquid in slow and steady stream. whisk quickly being sure to combine it well. Whisk for a few minutes whilst still boiling before turning the heat down to a simmer. Leave to simmer for 35-45 minutes but remember to stir frequently to stop it from sticking and going lumpy.
- Check the polenta is cooked, it should be thick, creamy and fall away from the sides of the pan. When it’s reached the desired texture remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and parmesan.
- Line a Tupperware box (or baking tray) with greaseproof paper or cling film. Pour the polenta in and leave it to set, you can speed this up by popping it in the fridge.
- Once your polenta has set tip it out onto a chopping board and slice into thin little rectangle shapes. Season the slices with plenty of black pepper and spread them out of a baking tray that has been drizzled with a tiny amount of oil. Preheat your oven to 200°c.
- Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, checking and turning over halfway.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper and get eating.
- Check to make sure your polenta isn’t the ‘quick-cook’ variety. If so prepare it to the packets specifications. You can opt for this if you want to make these in a faster time. Or as I said above you can buy pre-made and set packs from big supermarkets but I feel it takes the fun out of it.
- If you can stop yourself from eating them all at once they keep well in an airtight container.
- When cooking the polenta be sure to check the taste and texture. You may like it grainy you may want it smoother, adjust the cooking time to suit your palette.
- Why not try to flavour your polenta crisps with something different? Rosemary and garlic work wonders too…