Polenta Slices with Balsamic Strawberries

To describe it with one of Jamie Oliver’s frequently used words – this dessert is wicked! Ready in twenty minutes, easily prepared ahead, so simple and yet so delicious.  I love these kinds of unusual dishes, so when I found a long forgotten packet of polenta in my cupboard, this recipe immediately came to mind.  It’s another one from my filed and forgotten collection, but in the back of my mind, I knew it was there in my recipe folder.  It’s a shame really that it’s been sitting there for so long…

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The recipe is from Living at Home magazine, and I think they used polenta made from white corn.  I didn’t know that existed, but the colour of the polenta in the magazine picture was really pale, whereas mine was typical corn yellow, so I looked it up and found out there are different kinds of polenta.  Blog and learn…

Polenta Slices with Balsamic Strawberries

225 g polenta
3 tbsp sugar
1 rosemary branch
750 ml milk
100 ml Balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp honey
500 g strawberries

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Combine the polenta, sugar, rosemary branch and milk, and bring to a boil.  Then let simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove the rosemary branch.  Rinse a flat dish with cold water, and pour the polenta into the dish.  Leave to cool completely.

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Cook the balsamic vinegar with the honey for about 10 minutes, until the consistency becomes treacly.

Wash and halve the strawberries.  Cut the polenta into slices, arrange with the strawberries, and drizzle with the syrup.  Decorate with rosemary needles.

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The rosemary flavour is only a very delicate one, and the syrup isn’t very sweet.  Somehow refreshing is the best word I can come up with to describe the combination of both.

Note:  If the balsamic vinegar and honey are cooked with the heat too high, or for too long, the syrup will harden as soon as it’s taken off the heat.  This can be remedied by reheating it before serving, but it will then harden again quickly before it’s even served.  I found it a bit tricky to find just the right moment to take it off the heat so the consistency would be that of runny honey.  Guess it’ll take some practice, so I’ll have to make this again soon.

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