It’s holiday time and this year Cam, Lu and I have travelled up north to my family home for Christmas! As I type this I’m sitting in my Mum’s kitchen listening to her bake cakes; it’s a pretty wonderful feeling to be here!!
I’m squeezing in one more, tasty vegetarian recipe that is great to share with family and friends over the festive season. A delicious combination of crispy fried polenta cubes tossed with baby kale leaves, slow roasted tomatoes and avocado with a creamy horseradish dressing.
The polenta and dressing could be made the day before, simply fry the polenta right before serving and dress the salad at the very last minute. Not only is this hearty salad delicious, but super healthy too, with the kale and sunflower seeds it’s full of vitamins and lots of good for you stuff.
To save time you could try substituting the slow roasted tomatoes with store brought sundried tomatoes. If you can’t find baby kale leaves try using baby spinach and/or rocket or even cress or any combination of your favourite lettuce greens.
I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe and that your holiday season is filled to the brim with happiness, love, laughter and wonderful veggie food for everyone!!! Merry Christmas xo
Preparation time: 45mins (+ refrigeration time & 2 hours roasting time for the tomatoes)
Serves 6+ as a side
- 1 litre of homemade or good quality vegetable stock
- 1 cup of polenta
- 350g (12oz) roma tomatoes, sliced in half (substitute these with brought sundried tomatoes to save time if you prefer)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 120g (4oz) baby Kale
- 75g (2½oz) baby spinach
- 1-2 avocados, sliced and drizzled with lemon juice
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
for the dressing
- 3 tbs egg-free or traditional mayonnaise
- 3 tbs good quality olive oil
- 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 tsp grated horseradish (to taste)
- ½ tsp honey or agave nectar
To prepare the polenta bring the stock to boil in a large saucepan. Once boiling add the polenta in a steady stream and whisk over a low heat for 2-3 minutes until thick and smooth. Transfer to an approximately 6 litre capacity lightly greased baking dish, smooth over the top and refrigerate for about an hour until set.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 130°C/266°F and place the halved tomatoes into a baking dish. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt flakes and fresh cracked pepper. Place in the oven and roast at the low temperature for 1½ – 2 hours. Keep warm.
To make the dressing whisk all the ingredients together until combined and season to taste. Set aside.
Once the polenta is set turn it out of the dish and cut into pieces around 2-3cm square. Dust each piece with extra polenta and fry in batches over a medium heat in a frying-pan, using oil or butter depending on what you prefer.
Transfer the fried polenta pieces onto absorbent paper and keep warm.
Once the polenta and tomatoes are cooked toss them together with the kale, spinach, avocado and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Just before serving pile the prepared salad onto a serving plate and drizzle over the dressing.
Perfect as a hearty vegetarian side to serve to guests on a special occasion of as a filling and tasty veggie meal at home. Enjoy!!
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