A traditional Veronese dish coming from Parona, a village on the banks of the River Adige just north of Verona that used to be a stopping point for boatmen transporting goods from Trentino region by water. Long stops were necessary here when the customs post down river was closed and the sailors sometimes used to pay their bills with cases of herrings. This was the source of a recipe to preserve the “renga”, or herring, which was eaten above all during Lent, when lean food was proscribed eating.
Ever since then, “polenta e renga” has been a widely-used traditional dish for consumption on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.
Ingredients (for 4 people)
Grill the herrings under a hot grill.
Once cooked, carefully separate the fish from the head, skin, fins and bones.
Chop all the vegetables finely and sprinkle roughly on the flakes of herring.
Transfer everything to a glass dish that has been sterilised in the oven at 150° for 5 minutes; dress with copious amounts of extra virgin olive oil.
Wait a couple of hours for the fish and vegetables to absorb the oil, then dress with more oil if necessary.
Cover the dish and leave to macerate in the refrigerator for thirty days.
Serve with grilled polenta.