Crispy polenta bites

With Green Tapenade

Making tasty finger food for a crowd can be headache- inducing but this recipe is delicious and much of it can be prepared in advance. Make the polenta and tapenade ahead of the time and it will take just 10 minutes or so to cut and fry the squares.



750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) hot vegetables stock

140 g (5 oz) instant polenta (cornmeal)

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

3 tablespoons potato starch or cornflour (cornstarch),dusting

3 tablespoons olive oil, for frying


175 g (6oz) pitted green olives

1 garlic clove

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed

90 ml (3 fl oz) olive oil, plus extra for brushing

Finely grated zest of ½ lemon

2 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves

Freshly ground black pepper


Line a 20 cm (8 inch) square baking tray with foil, letting it overlaps the sides.

To make the polenta and salt and pepper in a pan and bring boil over a medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and stir constantly until very thick, about 5 minutes. Stir the oregano. Pour into the prepared tray and smooth the top with a spatula. Leave to cool, then transfer to the fridge to firm up for a least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the tapenade. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until well combined- you want a slightly chunky texture. Taste for seasoning and set aside. When Polenta is firm and you’re ready to serve, lift it out of the baking tray and put on a chopping board. Cut into 4 cm (1 ½) squares with a sharp knife. Spread the potato starch or cornflour out on a plate. Toss the polenta squares in the flour, shaking off excess.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the squares over a medium- high heat for about 4 minutes each side, or until golden.

Transfer to the paper towels. To serve, arrange the polenta squares on a plate and top with a spoonful of tapenade. Best serve hot.