Crispy Polenta, Tomato and Rocket Salad

clock 2 hours + 20 minutes bowl Serves 6


  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 20g butter
  • 1 cup instant polenta
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 1/2 cup cornflour
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 250g punnet mixed baby tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch rocket leaves, trimmed
  • 1/2 bunch basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 120g goat's cheese


  • 1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line a 20cm square pan with baking paper.

  • 2. In a medium saucepan, combine water, milk and butter. Bring to almost boiling point. Gradually add polenta in a thin, steady stream, whisking constantly to combine. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring, until thick and smooth, adding extra water as required. Season to taste. Pour hot polenta into the pan. Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Chill 1 hour until firm.

  • 3. Meanwhile, wrap garlic in foil. Bake 15-20 minutes, until tender.

  • 4. Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan (oil is ready when a cube of bread sizzles as soon as it's added). Cut polenta into 3cm squares, about 1cm thick. Dust in cornflour. Deep-fry in 2 batches, 2-3 minutes each, until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel.

  • 5. Squeeze garlic from skins into a small jug; mash with a fork. Add olive oil and vinegar, whisking to combine. Season to taste.

  • 6. In a large bowl, combine polenta, tomatoes, rocket and basil. Drizzle with dressing and toss gently. Scatter with nuts. Crumble cheese over to serve

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