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.
- 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
- 500 ml chicken stock (2 cups)
- 100 gm coarse polenta
- 30 gm butter, diced
- 1For 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.
- 2Heat 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.
- 3Spoon 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.
Drink Suggestion: Crisp young riesling. Drink suggestion by Max Allen