Last weekend I got up at first light to pick some elderflowers. This is not essential to the art of flower-picking but just something I like to do once in a while to catch that very special morning light. :-)
Now, elderflower season has almost passed, so I better be quick in telling you one of my favourite ways to eat polenta! Yes, you heard right, elderflower and polenta.
Unlike having polenta as a savoury side dish, I love to make it as a sweet breakfast alternative to porridge made from oats or other grains. If you cook it with milk (or coconut milk, or nut milk) it becomes super creamy and goes so well with any kind of fruit or fresh berries.
So where do the elderflowers come into play? Well I realised that you can not only make beautiful and yummy syrup or tea from those sweet blossoms but you can also infuse other liquids with that heavenly flowery taste. So why not milk? Well and if you can infuse milk with elderflower you can, in turn, use that milk for sooo many other heavenly things. Like polenta. So if you pick the last elderflower blossoms this weekend give this a try and you will not regret it. The sweet flowery aroma is a perfect counterpart to the richness of the polenta and adds a little more lightness and a perfect summery touch.
- 125g polenta
- 650 - 700ml milk
- 3-4 elderflower blossoms
- 3-4 tbsp maple syrup or coconut blossom syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
- pinch of vanilla
- optional: lemon zest and juice
- for toppings: fresh berries or other fruit of your choice, nuts like pistachios or roasted almonds would also be great on top
1. Pick the elderflower blossoms and place them on a white surface or linen, any insects will start to crawl out. Once all the insects have gone remove as much from the green stem as possible. Tip: It's best not to wash the blossoms as they will lose their nice flavour.
2. Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the elderflower blossoms and the syrup. Place the saucepan on medium heat and let it come to a light simmer (don't let it boil). Turn off the heat and let it sit for 15min. to infuse.
3. In the meantime zest and juice the lemon and prepare your fruit.
4. Using a fine sieve or a straining cloth sieve the infused elderflower milk into a clean bowl. Clean the saucepan and pour the milk back into it. Bring to a simmer again. Add the lemon zest.
5. As soon as the milk starts to boil, turn the heat to the lowest setting, and while stirring, slowly trickle in polenta. keep stirring until the polenta is absorbed and there are no lumps.
6. Let it simmer on lowest heat for about 15min., stirring once in a while so it doesn't stick to the pan. You might want to add some more water, or milk if it gets to thick. It should have the consistency of airy scrambled eggs, not too runny but not too thick. Yet it's also a matter of personal taste, so play around until you get your desired consistency. As soon as it's cooked, add a splash of lemon juice.
7. Serve with fresh berries or fruit on top, sprinkle on some more elderflower petals for decoration, and a drizzle of syrup if you like.