Fast Recipes

Prawns on soft polenta

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for prawns on soft polenta.

By Emma Knowles & Lisa Featherby
  • 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Prawns on soft polenta


  • 50 ml olive oil
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 baby fennel bulbs, thinly sliced on a mandolin, fronds reserved
  • 250 gm cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, plus 1 lemon extra for acidulated water
  • 24 peeled medium uncooked prawns, tails on
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Soft polenta
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • 180 gm instant polenta
  • 30 gm butter, coarsely chopped


  • 1
    Heat oil in a large wide saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, garlic and three-quarters of the fennel (reserve remaining fennel in iced acidulated water) and stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes). Add tomato, wine and lemon rind and simmer until reduced by half (4-5 minutes). Add prawns, simmer until just opaque (1-2 minutes), add lemon juice and parsley, season to taste and keep warm.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for soft polenta, bring milk and 500ml water to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add polenta in a thin steady stream, whisking continuously, and whisk until thick (2-3 minutes). Add butter, season generously to taste and whisk to combine. Serve polenta hot, topped with prawn mixture and reserved fennel.