Parmesan Polenta bowl with buttered British Asparagus

by British Asparagus Association

Don't be put off if you haven't used polenta before. It's quicker and easier than mash and this bowl of comforting goodness topped with British asparagus is on the table in 20 minutes.

Cooking Time 15 minutes
Dress Dress
Serves Serves 2


  • Small handful of hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 150g polenta
  • 50g vegan cheese
  • 20g margarine
  • 1 Tbsp rapeseed oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 200g British Asparagus tips
  • handful of basil, roughly chopped


  1. Add the hazelnuts to a large saucepan and set over a medium-high heat. Toast for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Tip into a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the stock to the same saucepan and set over a high heat to bring up to the boil. Once boiling, slowly pour in the polenta, stirring constantly so no lumps form.
  3. Reduce the heat to a medium low and continue to cook, stirring all the time, until its really thick – about 5 minutes. Take a little care as is does have a tendency to spit moulton bubbles!
  4. Turn off the heat and add the margarine and most of the vegan cheese (reserving a little for later) and stir until it’s melted and smooth. Season generously with salt and pepper and cover with a lid to keep warm.
  5. Bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil and drop in the asparagus. Boil for 2 minutes until just tender but with plenty of bite.
  6. Drain well and tip back in the pan. Add the rapeseed oil, the basil and season with a little salt and pepper. Toss well to mix.
  7. To serve, divide the polenta between warmed bowls and top with asparagus. Scatter over the hazelnuts and sprinkle over the rest of the vegan cheese. Tuck in straight away.

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