image of Antipasti-Topped Baked Polenta

Takes 45 minutes

olive oil, for greasing

800ml vegetable stock

170g quick-cook polenta

50g unsalted butter

50g Parmesan cheese, grated

150g chestnut mushrooms, halved

a splash of white wine vinegar

100g ricotta

50g jarred smoked tomatoes (or semi-dried), drained

10 slices bresaola

10 slices thin-cut salami

50g jarred grilled artichoke pieces, drained

a small handful of black olives, pitted

sea salt and freshly ground black peppe

Polenta makes such a great base when baked and works especially well when combined with lots of cheese! Using quick-cook polenta ensures you won’t spend hours making this tart.


Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.


Grease a deep 25cm loose-bottom tart tin with olive oil, line the base with greaseproof paper and place to one side. In a large saucepan bring the vegetable stock to the boil, turn the heat down to medium and pour in the polenta, whisking continuously. Turn the heat down to low and cook for three minutes until the polenta is thick and blipping. Once cooked, stir in half the butter and the Parmesan then season well with salt and pepper.


Pour the polenta into the tin, allow it to settle a little, then use a spoon to even out the base and push the polenta up the edges of the tin. Make an indent in the centre. Put the tart case on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until set and a little crisp.


Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for five minutes. Add the vinegar, season with salt and pepper and place to one side. Once the polenta base is cooked allow it to cool completely then arrange the mushrooms and remaining antipasti on top.


Extracted from Posh Tarts by Phillippa Spence (Quadrille, £12.99)  Photography © Faith Mason

Published in: September 2019

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