Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Grilled Roasted-Garlic Polenta with Caramelized Onions

Polenta is something I made for the first time just a few months ago. I had tried the packaged polenta before, but knew homemade would be much, much better.

My first polenta dish was an
herbed polenta with tomato ragout, and on Mother's Day I made an appetizer of polenta tartlettes with different toppings. For tonight's dinner of Chicken in a White Wine Sauce with Lemon and Sage (see below post), I decided to make a roasted garlic polenta, and then grilled it and topped with caramelized onions.
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups stone ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 bulb roasted garlic, mashed to a paste
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • A few dashes each salt and pepper


  • Roast the garlic - cut off the top of the bulb and top with olive oil. Wrap in foil and bake on 450 for about 30 minutes, or until soft. Let cool, then squeeze each clove into a bowl. Mash to a paste with a fork. Set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a pot.
  • Add shallots and saute 1-2 minutes.
  • Add broth and bring to a boil.
  • Lower heat to medium/medium low and slowly whisk in the cornmeal. Keep whisking as you add the cornmeal, and continue to whisk for about 15 minutes until creamy and the polenta pulls away from the sides of the pot.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the garlic paste, cheese, and parsley.

You can eat the polenta like this, but I let it set up overnight so I could grill it tonight. If you choose the latter option, spray a pie plate or casserole dish with non-stick spray. Pour the polenta into the dish and smooth the top. Cover and put in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

When we were making dinner tonight, I sliced the polenta like a pie (it was in a round pie dish). My mom heated the grill, coated it with olive oil spray, and then added the slices of polenta. We cooked the polenta for about 2-3 minutes on each side until it was warm and we had nice grill marks.

To serve, we topped each piece of polenta with caramelized onions (slice onions into thin rings, cook in a pan with butter and olive oil over medium low heat for 30 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown. I also added a pinch of salt, sugar, and dried thyme). You could also add some fresh Parmesan and herbs as a topping.

Between three of us, we ate almost the entire pie of polenta! I love polenta, will never buy the premade stuff again, and I think now I'll always make it with roasted garlic, although I'm sure I'll find some other flavors to try. It's so versatile and could be served with so many things. When I had my second serving, I topped it with some of the white wine sauce from the chicken (see above post). It would also be great with a fresh tomato sauce.

I have to get Jon to like polenta because I could eat it every day! It's tiring whisking over the hot stove for almost 20 minutes, but well worth it.

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  1. I am crazy for polenta! It looks great!

  2. This looks like an amazing side!

  3. I've never had polenta. This looks great! I might have to try my hand at it soon.

  4. ok, I've never had polenta before, but this totally makes me want to try it!