Soft smoked polenta with easy caponata and Knockalara cheese

Serves: 4
Course: Main Course
Cooking Time: 0 hr 45 mins
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Sprig of thyme
  • 1 aubergine, finely diced
  • 50g raisins (soaked in boiling water)
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • A drizzle of honey
  • 2 tbsp small capers
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 150ml milk
  • 100ml water
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 100g instant polenta
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 50g grated Parmesan
  • 150 g Knockalara sheep’s cheese (or another creamy cheese)
  • Some rocket to garnish
  1. Put the olive oil in a pan with the onion and garlic, cook over a gentle heat for five minutes then add the cumin, thyme and aubergine and turn the heat up to medium.
  2. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the aubergine completely softens then drain the raisins and add along with the vinegar, honey, capers, salt and pepper.
  3. Cook for five more minutes to allow the flavours to come together, then set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, bring the milk, water and smoked paprika to a simmer.
  5. Add the polenta in a thin drizzle, and cook whilst stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes, before adding the butter and Parmesan (it shouldn't be too stiff).
  6. Season and serve straight away on warm plates with the sheep's cheese and rocket.
Paul Flynn

Paul Flynn

Paul Flynn is a chef, restaurateur and contributor to The Irish Times. He and his wife, Máire, run the Tannery restaurant and cookery school in Dungarvan, Co Waterford