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Stuffed polenta patties


Course: Appetizers, SnacksCuisine: Gluten Free


Prep time


Cooking time



I enjoyed this for lunch (though they’re a bit soft). If you opt for the frying method they stay pretty sturdy after cooling down, so would be okay to travel for lunch.



  • Heat the water, soy milk, broth, and harissa paste in a medium saucepan to a near boil. Slowly tip in the polenta, whisking continuously until all is mixed in the pan. It’ll thicken very quickly, so you’ll probably want to switch to a wooden spoon if your wrists aren’t made of steel.
  • Turn the heat down to medium low and cook the polenta for 10 minutes, stirring very frequently. The polenta will become thicker and will begin to come away more easily from the sides of the saucepan. Add any additional salt and/or pepper to adjust to your tastes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 20-30 minutes, until cool enough to handle.
    Heat the teaspoon of oil in a frying pan or wok to medium heat and toss the kale around in there for 2-3 minutes, until wilted (a little brown is okay too). Add the lemon juice and garlic, turning the heat down a bit so the garlic doesn’t burn. Tip the pumpkin and spring onion in, mashing everything together. Rub the thyme between the palms of your hands into the pan (this more strongly brings out its flavor). Stir the lot for 2 minutes and remove from the heat.
  • Divide the polenta into 6 vaguely even portions, rolling each into a ball shape. Use polenta flour to help keep the dough from sticking to your hands if it becomes an issue.
    On a lightly polenta-floured surface, pat the balls down into a flat ¼ inch thick disk and plop a tablespoon of the pumpkin mash in the center. Hold the disk in one palm while semi-carefully folding the edges up with the other hand, pinching them together to seal (don’t worry about perfection). Place the lump, sealed side down, back onto the floured work surface and lightly press into a disk that’s about 3.5 inches across (somewhere between ¼ to ½ inch thick).
  • In another frying pan or sauté pan preheat about ¼ inch deep worth of oil to just above medium heat.
  • Dredge both sides lightly with polenta flour and fry for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and serve.
  • Alternatively you can bake at 175 C (350 degrees F) for 30 minutes, flipping at the halfway point. Just brush both sides with a bit of oil first. Please note the end product will be much softer than if fried.
  • You may serve with Creamy Mashed Cauliflower as topping/side dish.


  • For vegetarian, can opt out the garlic and spring onion and replace with ginger and coriander leave.