Friday, 6 August 2010

Summer Vegetable Polenta Bombs

In my student days when I lived in the West end of Glasgow, I would often venture into the city centre with my friend. On one of these days, we decided to explore the newly opened Lush store on Buchanan Street and we marvelled at the quirky names given to all the products there, then we were given a demonstration of how the novel 'bath bombs' worked when they hit the water, fizzing and exploding.

Another kind of bomb I became aware of were green seed bombs. I learned about these through guerrilla gardening. Then there are the 'edible sweet bombes' such as ice-cream bombs which I'm sure many of us have eaten some time in our lives. One thing all of these bombs share is the way in that they are made in a mould which makes it look rather grande.
Here I am going to introduce you to a savoury polenta bomb. I’ve often used polenta as a topping, as chips or as wedges, but never thought of using it as a shell and to be honest would still not thought about it had Alessandra Zecchini not introduced it to me.
This recipe for polenta bombs comes from my well travelled blogger friend Alessandra Zecchini.  Alessandra is of Italian heritage and often makes her own mozzarella from scratch. She loves to feed her family and friends using seasonal ingredients, some of which she grows herself. She says 'food is for pleasure but always in good measure'.

As I was just feeding D and myself, instead of making a huge one like Alessandra that could feed up to 12 people, I wanted to make enough to last us a couple of days. So I decided to make four individual ‘bombs’ using courgettes and chard from my garden, everything else came from grocers.

Summer Vegetable Polenta Bombs
This is my variation on Alessandra's filling for the Polenta bombs
2 courgettes, yellow and green
1 fat clove of garlic
3 – 4 spring onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 x 400g can of tomatoes
1 mild red chilli
1 tablespoon chopped sun-dried tomatoes
Leaf or two of chard
1 tablespoon chopped basil
Parmesan (optional)
Wash the courgettes and cut into thick slices. Peel and finely chop the onion. Heat the oil in a large pan or frying pan. Add the prepared vegetables and sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir int the canned tomatoes, breaking them up as you stir. Add the oregano, chlii, sun-dried tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer, stirring often, until the sauce thickens. Season to taste and add the chopped parsley.
For the polenta bombs, please follow Alessandra's recipe from Savour. It was rather fiddly and certainly does take practice to make as you have to work pretty quick with the polenta before it sets. I made mine in plastic pudding moulds that were only suitable for steaming, so I had to tap the polenta bombs out to go into the oven for a final blasting before they were served hot with extra drizzling of oil and optional Parmesan cheese. Two of them came out perfectly well.
but the other two... Well just scoot down and you'll see what I mean. This recipe certainly will take practice to Perfect!
But they tasted good and I will certainly attempt making them again. Thank you to Alessandra for introducing me to this method, but it will certainly take some time before I am an expert at it like her.


  1. Looks like a lovely way to use up excess courgettes!

  2. That is so cool! What a neat idea. I have to admit, mine would probably look like the lower of the two pictures....but I still might try because it's fun to be an adventurous cook sometimes. Good job.

  3. What a fun thing to do with polenta...that's one thing that I can never get excited about for some reason. But these are pretty exciting. The filling looks so good...I'd happily eat it by the spoonful on its own.

  4. This is a great idea, I love polenta, and I think it would be worth making a few more and trying to perfect the technique. They really are fun little bombs, thanks for sharing:-)

  5. This recipe looks amazing, and its making me hungry!

  6. I agree Amy.

    Thanks Mama.
    Yes, certainly will take a bit of practice, but if you don't try - you won't get better.

    Thank you Scarlett the Heavenly Healer.

    I understand your lack of excitement towards polenta, I truly felt the same way too until I discovered the secret is to ensure that the polenta is heavily flavoured, a bit like couscous.

    The filling is lovely.

    Thank you so muchi Patty.

    Thanks Morgan.

  7. Ciao Mangocheeks,

    thank you so much for your post and for trying the polenta bomb. I admire you for making individual bombs: it is more difficult that making a big bomb, and certainly more fiddly. Well done! The filling too seems delicious!

    Thank you again, and my daughter Arantxa is here with me and says hello and that the mini polenta bombs look yummy!


  8. Thank you so much Alessandra - to you for sharing the lovely recipe and method of making the polenta bombs. I was really excited and wanted to make them as soon as I had seen the original photograph in your book, but had to wait patiently for my own courgettes to grow. I actually have quite a lot of filling left over. I'm sure if I made a big polenta bomb it would all have gone.

    Thank you to Arantxa too and her sweet comment.

  9. mmm looks so yummy! I am your newest follower :)

    love, polly ;D

  10. These are gorgeous! What a terrific idea! I used to make a polenta torte, with filling in layers, but the polenta:filling ratio was always too high. This is a perfect way to increase the amount of filling but still have a neat presentation! I don't think I have anything to cook bombs in... Time to scout out some new cookware. :)

  11. Thank you so much Polly.
    I am really humbled.

    Thank you Ali of YumVeggieBurger.

    Thank you so much Scrumptious.

    Even though your filling ratio may have been high, your polenta torte sounds really marvellous. I am goign to keep it in mind.

    I used plastic pudding cases used for steaming puddings, but I know you can find metal ones for the oven. I need to look out for them too. Happy cookware shopping :)

  12. thank you ! these look amaziang! I love polenta!

  13. Thank you Gumboot Goddess.

    If you like polenta. Please do check out my other polenta recipes. I'm sure you'll find other dishes they to tempt you.

  14. wow I love this idea - I love using polenta and am always on the look out for new ways to use it - this is fantastic - though a little scary as I imagine my bombs might go off prematurely in the pot - but am sure they taste great - must look up Alessandra's recipes

  15. Thank you Johanna,
    I agree it is a fantastic idea.
    Please do go by and check out Alessandra's recipes and blog.

  16. Well, how great is that, I'm a vegan who's developed an intolerance to wheat and what do I discover? A tasty sounding gluten free recipe - yay!

    I think I can rustle up almost all the ingreients from the garden and have a go - but I'll maybe do a large one like a large suet pudding:-)

  17. Thanks Christine.
    I do have a number of other gluten free recipes on this blog. I just have been poor marking them, I'll be going through them in the near future. This is a good recipe, and a large one would be ideal for large crowds.

  18. what a great idea and I'm sure you can mix and match all kinds of vegetables to make the filling. Bookmarked this one too. many thanks


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