Ann-Sophie Raemisch, a rising star in the German culinary world, is based in Berlin. She shares her Pepper, Zucchini, Polenta recipe with The Kitchen. You can expect "a fatty and creamy, silky and luxurious mouthfeel," and you can have it served within 30 minutes.
Raemisch is the Former Sous Chef at Kin Dee, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Berlin, and today she does recipe development for Nobelhart & Schmutzig, another Michelin-stared, Berlin food establishment, selected among the World's Best 50 Restaurants.
Polenta - some love it, some hate it. I truly discovered polenta for myself in the past few years. It fed me well during the lockdown in a hundred different versions, with its fatty and creamy, silky and luxurious mouthfeel.
Polenta is a dish that people will often dislike because they only know it in a "healthy“ context. People cook it in water and are then surprised it doesn’t taste great. Certainly, there is corn that you could just cook in water and that would taste amazing, but that's not the case with what you can buy in German organic stores.
Polenta is not, per se, a German meal, but like many other Mediterranean dishes, it is widely known and eaten. Yet it is almost never good as people don`t know how to cook it. But here's how to make it great.
This dish also truly thrives from a very high-quality olive oil - the one used here comes from the Azienda Agricola Valentini. Their olive oil is robust and puristic – and rightly labelled a jewel by some connoisseurs.
The Valentini estate is located in the small village of Loreto Aprutino, in the hilly area of Pescara near the Italian Adriatic Sea. There, the family has been growing olives and cereals, raising livestock and producing vinegar since the 17th century.
Pepper / Zucchini / Polenta
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 1 pointed red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced.
- 1 zucchini, thinly sliced.
- 150 g polenta
- 100 ml white wine
- 100 ml buttermilk
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 Egg yolk
- 100 g pecorino, grated.
- Juice of one lemon
- Valentini Olive oil
- Some fresh oregano (or herb of your choice)
- Melt a spoon full of butter in a pot, add the polenta. Stir it and toast it for about one or two minutes, carefully, we don’t want the polenta to brown.
- Deglaze the polenta with the white wine, when all of the liquid has evaporated, add the buttermilk and generously fill up with water - the usual ratio is 1 part polenta, 4 parts liquid, but use common sense. Often, you’ll need more.
- Salt and let cook gently while stirring (very important as you don’t want to burn your dish) until the polenta has absorbed all the liquid and you’re left with a rich, creamy texture. Taste to check if you’d like the grains to be more cooked, if so, just add more water. Add the rest of your butter, turn off the stove and tend to the vegetables.
- Heat up a pan, we want quite high heat. Without any fat, char the vegetables until they got some dark colour and are slightly cooked, immediately transfer to a bowl, salt and cover in olive oil.
- Now let's season the polenta (it shouldn’t be boiling hot anymore), add lemon juice, salt and olive oil. Add in the grated cheese and now carefully and quickly fold in the two egg yolks. They’ll give your polenta an incredibly rich, creamy texture.
- Place a generous amount of polenta in a bowl, add the vegetables. Top of your dish with a healthy dose of pepper, oregano leaves and a generous splash of olive oil. Serve immediately.
More about the chef
Raemisch does freelance work for all kinds of food and gastronomy-related projects, including recipe development for Nobelhart & Schmutzig.
Micha Schäfer, head chef of Nobelhart, says "Ann-Sophie lives by our quality standards when it comes to food - her dishes have a unique handwriting and overall she is a person that has something to say."