Recipe | Polenta & Corn Fritters

In Bri Dimattina’s cookbook, Nostrana, Bri talks about how gardening kind of crept up on her. She’s always had some form of kitchen garden growing, even if it was just a windowsill littered with cuttings and seedling. She wonders if her tendency to garden was, perhaps, inherited.

Influenced by her chef mother and her gardening grandparents, Nostrana is a nod to where Bri is from and who she is. The Stromboli-inspired recipes in Nostrana include: zucchini arancini, polenta & corn fritters (recipe below), tomato sauce and a divine lemon-chocolate pizza dolce tart.

— Read the full interview about Bri’s garden and life of seasonal cooking here.

Bri DiMattina in her edible garden.

Words by Bri DiMattina, Nostrana

Polenta & Corn Fritters

This recipe has been a family favourite for years. Even though I use corn in the recipe, it is easy to sub in any other vegetables and often use this as a vehicle to use up less-favoured ones in our household. The Trojan horse for veggies, if you like. Once fried, the ‘crust’ tastes a lot like popcorn, and then it’s just full of goodness. I always make too many, but they are great in the lunchbox the next day.

ALSO TRY: Zucchini Arancini — Recipe by Bri DiMattina

RECIPE — Polenta & Corn Fritters



360ml water

½ cup (85g) polenta

½ tsp salt

½ cup (80g) corn kernels (or your choice of small veggies)

¼ cup finely chopped spring onions, plus extra, to serve

1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

1 garlic clove, crushed

⅓ cup (50g) plain flour

¼ tsp baking powder

1 egg, lightly beaten

Vegetable oil, to deep fry

Mayonnaise, tomato, spring onion and coriander, to serve


Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the polenta and salt, and cook, stirring constantly, until thick.

Take off the heat and stir in the corn, spring onion, parsley and garlic. Leave to cool.

Sift the flour and baking powder over, and add the egg. Season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

Half fill a large saucepan with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Working a few at a time, scoop tablespoons of the mixture and gently drop into the hot oil. Cook for a few minutes, turning as needed, to a rich, golden brown colour. Drain on paper towel.

Drizzle with mayonnaise and top with chopped tomato, spring onion and coriander to serve, if you like.

NOTE: For extra pop, serve with your favourite tomato relish, or with yoghurt or sour cream as a dip.

Bri DiMattina is a second-generation Italian-Kiwi, a home gardener and trained chef who inherited her love of good food from her chef mother and her Italian nonna. After a career in the food industry, Bri moved to Mangere Bridge (Auckland). There she began growing a ‘food forest’ using permaculture principles, finding joy in harvesting and cooking homegrown produce.

Recipe extracted from Nostrana: Flavours from my Italian kitchen garden by Bri DiMattina

(Photography by Lottie Hedley, published by HarperCollins, RRP $55)

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