Tarragon Polenta with Pumpkin stuffed Tomatoes

Serves 4


  • 175g polenta (the quick cook stuff)
  • 2 handfuls freshly picked tarragon
  • 50g grated Parmesan
  • Half a small pumpkin or butternut squash
  • Sunflower or olive oil
  • 8 ripe tomatoes
  • A teaspoon of spicy sauce (I used Quinta d’Avó Preparado Angolano)


  • Make the polenta by boiling 1 litre of water, rapidly stirring in the polenta and then continuing to stir using a wooden spoon until the polenta is thick and the granules almost gone.
  • Add the Parmesan and stir until integrated. Take off the heat.
  • Finely chop the tarragon and add to the polenta.
  • Tip the whole lot into an oiled plastic tupperware box and leave to set (once cool, put in the fridge).
  • Chop the pumpkin into large chunks (leave peel on), sprinkle with oil and bake at 220 degrees c for about 30 minutes until tender and brown in places. Leave to cool. Turn the oven down to 200 degrees c.
  • Slice lids of the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds and juice from inside. Discard, or pop in the fridge to use later if you are thrifty.
  • Scrape the pumpkin off the skins, put in a bowl with the spicy sauce (pumpkin is fairly bland so this is needed, but can leave out if using butternut squash) and mash with a fork or potato masher. Season.
  • Fill the tomatoes with the mash, pop the lids back on  and place on a baking tray. Brush with oil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • With 10 minutes to go on the tomatoes, take the polenta from the fridge and slice into 4 thick pieces.
  • Heat a drizzle of oil in a heavy frying pan (ridged is good) and once really hot, fry the polenta on both sides (turning once) so that is is nicely browned.
  • Serve a polenta slice with 2 tomatoes per person.


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