This recipe is inspired by a dish Robert Marchetti served during
his time at Icebergs. It's a more delicate take on polenta than
usual, with sweet crab and crisp fennel lightening up
90 mlextra-virgin olive oil1baby fennel bulb, thinly shaved on a mandolin, fronds coarsely chopped1garlic clove, finely chopped½long red chilli, finely chopped250 gmpicked crab meat, such as blue swimmer or spannerFinely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, or to taste, plus lemon wedges, to serve2 tbspcoarsely chopped flat-leaf parsleySoft polenta500 ml (2 cups)chicken stock100 gmcoarse polenta30 gmbutter, diced
For soft polenta, bring stock and 250ml water
to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat,
then gradually add polenta, whisking continuously
to combine. Reduce heat to as low as it will go
and simmer, whisking occasionally, then more
frequently as the mixture thickens, and cook until
the polenta no longer feels grainy on your tongue
(30-35 minutes). Whisk in butter until melted and
combined, check seasoning and keep warm.
Heat oil in a frying pan over low heat, add
fennel (not fronds), garlic and chilli, and sauté
until fennel is tender (2-3 minutes). Add crab and
lemon rind, stir to just warm through, then stir in
parsley and lemon juice, and adjust seasoning.
Spoon polenta onto a board or platter (the
consistency should be like thickened cream – if it’s
too thick, adjust with a little extra hot stock or
water), top with crab mixture, scatter with fennel
fronds and serve hot with lemon wedges.