Skip to content

Tom’s Asparagus, Spring Onions, Polenta & Tapenade

Tom Hunt

Featuring:
Asparagus icon
Asparagus
Effort:
Complexity:
Cost:

Serves: 4

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 1 hr 15 mins

Ingredients:

110g slow-cook polenta (or quick-cook polenta*)

1 tsp sea salt

75g (kalamata) olives, pitted

extra virgin olive oil

18 spears of asparagus, ends trimmed

12 spring onions, washed

Veg Portions / Serving: 1

Share:

Recipe from Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet by Tom Hunt. Photography by Jenny Zarins.

Method:

To make the slow-cook polenta, bring 1 litre of water to the boil in a heavy-based saucepan. Turn the heat down low, add the salt, then pour in the polenta in one continuous stream while whisking at the same time. To prevent lumps, keep stirring until the polenta has started to absorb the water and become creamy. When it reaches a runny, porridge-like consistency, cover the pan with a damp tea towel, being careful to keep the cloth away from the flame, and place a lid on top. Cook over a very low heat for 50–60 minutes, or until the polenta comes away from the sides of the pan. If it is a little too thick, whisk in some extra boiling water. Pour onto a wooden board to cool and set, then cut into wedges. *If you are using quick-cook polenta, follow the packet’s instructions. 

To make the tapenade, finely chop the olives and then pound them to a rough paste in a pestle and mortar. Add a little extra virgin olive oil, if necessary, to create a thick saucy consistency. 

To finish the dish, toss the asparagus and spring onions in olive oil and place on a hot barbecue or griddle with the polenta wedges for a few minutes until they begin to char, then turn and cook on the other side. Serve together, dressed with a teaspoon of tapenade. 

Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

Cooked polenta is soft, making it perfect for kids to slice with child-friendly or non-sharp knives – help them cut it into wedges. Kids can toss the veg in olive oil, and help use the pestle & mortar to make the tapenade.

Activities

Activities

While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.

Sensory

Sensory

Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.

Serving

Serving

The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.

Tom Hunt

Tom Hunt is an award-winning chef, food writer and food waste campaigner. His Bristol restaurant Poco attained the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s highest ever score of 96%.

www.tomsfeast.com/

Similar recipes

Chris’ Chicken and Watercress Salad with Eggs and Harissa Yogurt

Effort: 2
Complexity: 2
Cost: 4

Chris Wheeler

Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Sausage and Mash

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Jacket Potato with Toppings

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites