Cooked and cooled polenta can be cut into shapes and grilled to make an excellent base for a tempting topping. Here the polenta is flavoured with Gruyère cheese, and the topping is a savoury mixture of mushrooms, walnuts and herbs. Serve as a sophisticated starter, with a few mixed salad leaves if you like.
Excellent source of copper. Useful source of selenium.
Add 2–3 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche to the mushroom mixture with the herbs and walnuts, and heat. Replace 150 ml (5 fl oz) of the stock with dry white wine. * Add 1 tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper to the cooked polenta at the end of step 2. * Make polenta and tapenade squares. Cut the cooled and set polenta into squares and grill as in the main recipe. For the tapenade topping, blend together 85 g (3 oz) stoned black olives, 2 tbsp capers, 30 g (1 oz) sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, well drained, 1 crushed garlic clove, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor. Alternatively, finely chop the olives, capers and tomatoes, and mix with the garlic, oil, parsley and seasoning.
Polenta is fine corn or maize meal. It provides a starchy carbohydrate alternative for those who need to avoid wheat or gluten in their diet. * All mushrooms are a good source of copper, a mineral with many functions but particularly needed for the maintenance of healthy bones. * Walnuts are a good source of many of the antioxidant nutrients, including copper, selenium, vitamin E and zinc.