Veg Box Newsletter 30th January: Polenta

In the Veg Boxes This Week

Subject to last minute changes

Check out storage guidance for helpful tips and tricks on how to prolong the life of your fresh produce. If you’re wondering where your veg comes from, have a look at these maps. You can also join your fellow subscribers over in the Facebook group for lots of tips, tricks, and recipe ideas!

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  • We have retired the sweet treat trio, but worry not, as we are now offering a selection of three sweet treats from our kitchen. These will rotate and you can choose to order any combo of them. This week, we have bounty bars, vegan anzac cookies, and big salted caramel brownies.
  • If you ever find the delay between receiving your box and the charge for it being fully processed a little frustrating, please note that you now have the option to switch to card payments. These take less time to process once we run charges each Friday, and mean any refunds needed after we charge you can be made directly. If you’d like to make the switch, you can add card details via the “payment details” button on the “my account” page of our website.

The Nice Bit

It might be nearly February, Spring might be on the horizon, but it is still decidedly cold. I don’t know about you, but I want nothing more than to be enveloped in comfort, like some kind of cosy letter addressed to 123 central heating street. There’s nothing wrong with listening to the urge for cosiness and warmth; in fact, I think it’s something to celebrate. which is why the next few newsletters will be dedicated to something I find to be goated when cosy is the vibe*: carbs. Pasta, rice, bread, and this week’s star, polenta, all serve as edible duvets, as comforting and reassuring as your favourite jumper.

Polenta is really just cornmeal, but this yellow starch punches far above its weight. In its simplest or anyway most traditional mode, it is boiled with water and/or stock and/or milk, then seasoned and flavoured (at its best with butter and plenty of cheese). This makes for a creamy, soft substance, comparable in role to mash but with a richer texture, that you can pair with rich ragus- try this mushroom ragout for a vegetarian version- or anything stew-like, as in this caponata recipe.

Once cooked, this polenta can also be set overnight in the fridge and sliced then fried, making chips with perfect crunchy outsides and creamy dense middles. This crispyness also translates beautifully to uncooked polenta’s use as a breading for anything that needs a crunch, like the halloumi here. Incorporate polenta into a batter, as in these kale hush-puppies, for a similarly satisfying texture.

If you’re interested in structuring a whole menu around polenta, you’ll need a desert. I suggest this salted honey polenta cake, but Nigella’s lemon polenta cake, soaked with syrup, will also certainly do the trick.

*with apologies. Translation: perfectly suited to a cosy mood