Since I try to avoid potatoes for their weakening effect and alkaloid content, I like to make oven fries from all kinds of vegetables, of course, not all of them are suited for this purpose. What works great are pretty much any root vegetables, especially carrot and parsnip. Also sweet potatoes, naturally, because they resemble standard potatoes so much. Also pumpkin, because it´s so high in starch. That´s actually the main criteria: it has to be starchy! 😀
Here I cut up carrot, pumpkin and sweet potato into the shape of french fries and marinated them for a few hours in some oil with salt and ground cumin, lovely, trust me! 🙂 Then I baked them on a tray in the oven, using a parchment paper, and turning them every 10 or 15 minutes to bake evenly. About 180-200°C and 30-50 minutes should work – but every oven is different.
I had the fries with millet cooked together with some already cooked dried chestnuts (yeah, they really were somewhere there!) and gomasio.
The crispy deliciousness of polenta fries will make you quickly forget about your potato French fries of the past, seriously!! And they´re so easy to make, no deep-frying necessary either!
Just cook up about one and a half cup of polenta flour in three times the amount of water (for 2-3 people), adding a generous pinch of salt or more. There are different ways to make polenta – you can first bring water to boil and then slowly add the cornmeal while constantly stirring OR – what I do – leave the cornmeal soaking overnight in the designated amount of water, next day add salt, cover and bring to boil on a medium flame, then cook for at least half an hour on the lowest flame and on a flame tamer. I don´t even stir my polenta and it comes out quite perfect (I think). Anyway…when your polenta is cooked and it has the right (quite thick yet still creamy!) consistency, stir in fresh or dried rosemary and fresh or dried sage, both finely chopped. Also stir in 2 or 3 tbsp of oil of your choice. Spread in an even layer about 1,5-2 cm thick onto a baking tray or similar pan. Allow to cool down and leave it for a few hours either in the fridge or in a cool spot so it can become more stiff. Then you can cut the mass into “fries”, using a sharp knife. Transfer the fries into a baking tray (I found it unnecessary to be oiling the tray, the polenta was oily enough) and bake them for 45 minutes on 220°C, flipping them halfway so they get crispy and golden brown on both sides. Enjoy with a fresh salad!