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Soft polenta with crab, chilli, lemon and fennel

This recipe is inspired by a dish Robert Marchetti served during his time at Icebergs.

By Emma Knowles
  • Serves 4
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 35 mins cooking
Soft polenta with crab, chilli, lemon and fennel
Soft polenta with crab, chilli, lemon and fennel

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 proceedings.

Ingredients

  • 90 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 baby fennel bulb, thinly shaved on a mandolin, fronds coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ long red chilli, finely chopped
  • 250 gm picked crab meat, such as blue swimmer or spanner
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, or to taste, plus lemon wedges, to serve
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Soft polenta
  • 500 ml chicken stock (2 cups)
  • 100 gm coarse polenta
  • 30 gm butter, diced

Method

Main
  • 1
    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.
  • 2
    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.
  • 3
    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.

Notes

Drink Suggestion: Crisp young riesling. Drink suggestion by Max Allen