My garden is almost ready to bed down for the winter. The zucchini, pumpkin and melon vines have shrivelled to nothing, the rocket has bolted, and this evening I went out to pull up my basil plants, pick the last of my tomatoes, and harvest a final handful of tiny capsicums, and five corn cobs ranging in size from medium-small to positively miniature.
If I have time in between my intensive Easter singing schedule (new personal best this year, with five services over four days, not counting Palm Sunday services and the Saint Matthew’s Passion I’m singing in on April 5-6), it will soon be time to weed and dig and compost and maybe put in some winter vegetables that will give nutrients back to the ground.
But in the meantime, it’s time to celebrate the dying summer with this beautiful feast from my garden!
This polenta has it all – it’s soft and creamy, with a little crunch from the fresh corn and plenty of smokey heat from the chipotle pepper (it’s smokey outside, too, which is probably why chipotle pepper seemed so irresistible to me). To accompany it, I’ve slow-roasted my tomato harvest, turned my basil and parsley into a creamy purée with cannelini beans, olive oil and lemon juice, and sautéed up a lot of capsicums and onions to add some crunch.
Also, a quick announcement before I give you the recipe itself – as you may have gathered, I will be singing the Saint Matthew Passion with the Melbourne Bach Choir at the start of April. It’s going to be a rather gorgeous – and enormous! – performance, with three large choirs (I’m in Choir 2, which spends a lot of time interjecting with questions and interrupting arias with gratuitous chorales and choruses), an orchestra, and six soloists. If you like serious Baroque Oratorio, I recommend it (and you can buy tickets here).
Anyway, the unfortunate side-effect of all this glorious music is that I will be out at rehearsals every night next week until quite late… which means I am unlikely to be cooking *or* blogging much over the next ten days or so. I shall try to pop in to say hello, but if I don’t, you know why…
Your Shopping ListFor the tomatoes 600 g tomatoes, preferably randomly sized and coloured and from your garden! olive oil salt, pepper
For the polenta1 cup polenta 4 cups water salt, pepper 1 chipotle chilli in adobo 150 g fresh corn kernels 25 g butter 1/3 cup cheese For the puree 1 cup fresh basil leaves 1 cup fresh parsley leaves 400g tinned cannelini beans, drained 50 g pistachios juice of 1 lemon 3 tablespoons olive oil balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper For the rest olive oil 2 onions 6 long sweet peppers, multicoloured