Crunchy polenta, asparagus and peas


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Crunchy polenta

Asparagus filling

Pea cream

To serve

Begin by preparing the polenta dough. In a large bowl, mix together the polenta and semolina flours until well combined. Make a well in the centre and add the egg, bit by bit, until the mixture begins to come together to form a dough – this may not require all of the egg
Knead the dough until it achieves a soft, smooth consistency, then wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes
Meanwhile, cook the peas for the asparagus filling and pea purée. Bring a small pan of salted water to the boil and simmer the peas for 2 minutes, until tender. Drain the peas and measure out 50g for the asparagus filling, setting the remaining peas to one side until needed
For the asparagus filling, place a frying pan over a medium heat and sauté the onion in a dash of olive oil until tender. Slice the asparagus into thin pieces and fry well until beginning to catch
Deglaze the pan with white wine and add the cooked peas. Stir through enough milk to achieve a sauce-like consistency. Season to taste and set aside, keeping warm until ready to serve
For the pea cream, sauté the onion and shallot in olive oil. Add the cooked peas and season with salt and pepper, then add the vegetable stock and allow to simmer for a further 2 minutes
Transfer the mixture to a blender a blitz to form a smooth purée, adding a little more water or vegetable stock if required to loosen the consistency. Season well to taste and keep warm
Remove the rested polenta dough from the fridge and roll into a thin, even layer. Cut out 16–20 squares measuring roughly 6x7cm and arrange across a baking tray
Cook the polenta squares under a hot grill – or, alternatively, on a preheated barbecue – until crisp and beginning to char. While the squares are cooking, slice the green and white asparagus in half lengthways and again widthways, adding these to the hot grill and cooking until blackened
To serve, drizzle a few spoonfuls of the pea cream onto each plate and place a square of crunchy polenta on top. Spoon some of the asparagus filling on top of the square and cover with another square. Repeat another 3–4 times, using up all the filling and polenta squares, and garnish with the grilled asparagus
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