If you too are an avid traveler and have been lucky enough to explore the dream destination that is Italy, you’ll know exactly what this dedicated dining occasion is – the one and only, Aperitivo hour!
A bit like a happy hour (except even happier because it’s beautifully lit and utterly life-affirming) the Aperitivo hour is exclusively Italian, and in my humble opinion, best enjoyed with an Aperol Spritz *chef’s kiss*.
Totally refreshing and not-too-sweet, this bubbly orange cocktail is the classic pairing to one of my favourite and truly, oh-so simple snacks – polenta chips. Golden and crispy on the outside with a melt-in-your-mouth texture on the inside, polenta chips are like a classic potato French fry, only a whole lot better. And when paired with my homemade, creamy, and full-of-herbs dipping sauce, I can guarantee these mouth-watering treats will have you wondering why you hadn’t tried them sooner.
Right in time for summer, embrace the Italian tradition in your own home and enjoy Aperitivo hour. Because until my backyard has a view of the Italian Riviera, that’s how I’ll be transporting myself there.
Crispy polenta chips with a creamy herby dipping sauce
150g quick polenta (plus a sprinkle more for dusting)
40g parmesan – grated (plus more for garnish)
450ml vegetable Stock
1 tbsp fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
Creamy Herby Dipping Sauce:
1 cup fresh basil
1 cup parsley
4 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
1 Large garlic clove
½ Cup thick Greek yoghurt
¼ cup grated parmesan
1 tbsp vinegar
The perfect Aperol Spritz:
90ml of prosecco
Ice and a slice of orange
- Line a baking dish with baking paper. Ideally a 25x15cm baking dish or 20cm square tin.
- In a medium sized pot, add the stock and when it starts to boil slowly add in the polenta. Continuously stir until it has thickened. Now add in the chopped rosemary and parmesan and make sure everything is well combined.
- Pour into the tin, and gently with your hands press the polenta down so it is lays flat even. Place the tin in the fridge for 45 mins – 1 hour until it has cooled.
- Heat the oven to 220 fan bake. Carefully lift the polenta out of the dish and place it onto a lined baking tray.
- Slice the polenta into chips, brush with some olive oil and sprinkle over some of the extra polenta. Bake for 30 minutes. Flip the chip half way through.
- Whilst the polenta is baking, using a small food processor, blitz all of the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
- Serve the polenta immediately with some extra freshly grated parmesan on top and the creamy sauce on the side. Make an Aperol Spritz and enjoy!
Serves 4 as nibbles.
Don’t forget to post a photo of your very own Aperitivo hour and tag me @miss_pollys_kitchen and @aperolspritznz on Instagram so we can see your delicious creations.