My phone rang, it was ZZ2 with an unexpected delivery. In my line of work, I receive deliveries all the time, but this was no ordinary delivery – it was the ZZ2 Mouthwatering Box!
I raced downstairs to collect my bounty of some of South Africa’s best produce. The box popped with delicious colour; I spied tomatoes in a multitude of shapes and hues; from large “every day” tomatoes, to tomatoes with beautiful names such as Romanita, Bacio, Rigoletta and Sante, but what peaked my fancy the most were the sundried tomatoes! The box also included onions, garlic, avos and even a nifty avo tool!
I was beyond excited to get cooking! How could I not be with such fantastic ingredients?
I wanted to create something that would celebrate these ingredients, and my mind went straight to Italy. It must have been the exotic tomato names! But also because Italians are known for celebrating food in every sense of the word.
Winter is here, and to me, there is nothing more comforting than a bowl of creamy polenta. Since polenta is a grain and I am Banting, I decided to create my own “polenta”. I wanted something with a neutral colour, I first thought of coconut, but it has quite a sweet taste, and then I went to almond, but it was still not quite right. I settled on Macadamia flour because of its earthiness, which would go perfectly with this dish. But, if you would like to recreate this dish at home, please feel free to use almond flour or polenta 🙂
With the box of deliciousness, ZZ2 had asked us to create a dish that would hero two or more of the ingredients. I chose the garlic, Bacio vine tomatoes and of course, the sundried tomatoes.
Creamy Roasted Garlic Macadamia “Polenta” with Sundried Tomato Jam, Roasted Tomatoes, Mushroom, Rocket and Macadamia Nut Oil
1 cup macadamia nut flour
1 – 11/2 cups water
1/2 tsp Oryx desert salt (or similar)
1/4 – 1/2 cup cream (or more water)
1 knob butter
handful grated white cheese (parmesan, pecorino or cheddar)
1 head ZZ2 garlic, broken into cloves
Sundried Tomato Jam:
1/2 cup ZZ2 sundried tomatoes
pinch chilli flakes *optional
pinch of xylitol *optional
salt and pepper to taste
2 large brown mushrooms
ZZ2 Bacio vine tomatoes
macadamia nut oil or olive oil
This is a multi-tasking kind of recipe. You can move onto the next process, while the previous element is cooking, or you can follow the recipe step-by-step – it’s up to you.
Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Place garlic cloves on an oven tray, skin still on, and roast until soft and “squishy” and when they can slide easily out of the skins (the kitchen will start to smell amazing at this point)
While that is happening, put sundried tomatoes into a pan and just cover with water to allow them to re-hydrate for a few minutes. Bring water to the boil once the tomatoes are plump
Add in the rest of the ingredients and reduce down until you have a jam-like consistency
Mash 1 clove of roasted garlic into the jam and leave on low heat, while you get on with the rest of the processes
Taste as you go. I chose the sundried tomatoes because they are packed full of flavour. You are looking for a punchy jam that zings with flavour
Add macadamia nut flour, salt and 1 cup of water to a saucepan and stir with a whisk to smooth out the lumps
Cook on medium heat until it forms a porridge-like consistency and the flour has cooked out and the liquid has been absorbed – reduce the heat to a simmer here (you may need to keep adding some liquid until you are happy with the consistency). Stir with the whisk every now and again. It will take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of macadamia nut flour you use
Mash about 6 cloves of roasted garlic and stir into your “polenta” – this should provide a beautiful, yet subtle garlic flavour
Stir some cream, butter and cheese into the “polenta”. You should have something that is smooth, creamy and a little runny in consistency
Add salt and pepper to taste and keep on low heat until ready to serve
Place the mushrooms and vine tomatoes on a baking tray. Season your mushrooms with salt and pepper and drizzle them, as well as the vine tomatoes, with macadamia nut oil or olive oil
Roast until the tomato skins are wrinkled and the mushrooms have started to change colour and release their juices
To plate, place some “polenta” into a bowl or onto a plate, top with the tomato jam and slices of mushroom and the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle with a little macadamia nut oil or olive oil, finish off with a few shavings of cheese.
And there you have the perfect Winter warmer, using some of the best ingredients South Africa has to offer.
To win your very own Mouthwatering Box, an avo tool and a Checkers voucher worth R1000, tell ZZ2 what you’d create with this same box of ingredients by leaving your entry as a comment on their Facebook Page here. Good luck 🙂