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Polenta, you either love it or hate it! I love it, but I also realize that you have to flavor the heck out of it. Please don’t ever buy those round flavorless tubes, the ones that you can cut a slice off. And on the flip side you really don’t have to stir for hours and hours to make a good polenta. (although if you have the patience it’s delicious). Me,I don’t have patience, so I like using the instant kind, it’s readily available, it’s quick, it tastes great, and it comes out nice and creamy. It cooks up in no time, and right at the end you stir in all your herbs, cheese and other goodies.

In this case, I poured the creamy mixture that was flavored with fresh basil, grated Romano cheese, (lots!), pitted kalamata olives, some olive oil, salt and pepper, into a 10′ tart pan. When it cools it moulds perfectly. You can even add sun-dried tomatoes, it’s so good but I didn’t have any on hand at the time. The key is flavor it up!
This makes a great presentation on a cake stand, and is great as a lunch, appetizer or side dish.

The sky’s the limit on what kind of veggies to put on it, whatever you have on hand, or all of your favorites, I used zucchini ribbons, portabella mushrooms, onions, and red peppers. It cuts perfectly into wedges, just finish it off with shaved Pecorino and a drizzle of your favorite EV olive oil.

Buon Appetito!!!

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  1. What an amazing blog! Thank you!
    My family LOVES polenta [and we are irish, not italian(:]…I usually do the quick cook, though on occasion, when in a huge hurry, i have used the ready made log. I know the texture and cirtic taste is weird, BUT, if you dress it right, it can work. But anyway, made and put in a mold is best.
    My kids love it as a base for many easy dishes, too: Marinara or red sauce with kidney beans [i’ve used garbonzo or navy-whatever’s on hand but kidney is best], meat (optional) and topped with lots of cheese [parm or mozz]. I usually top it all and bake in the oven briefly…so good, especially in the winter.
    And….I’ve done it mexican style, too. lol. Black beans, queso fresco, sometimes chicken or not…sometimes jack cheese and cilantro, green chilies…and/or top with green or red salsa after.
    Polenta is so underrated! It’s a great base b/c of it’s texture and weight-so meatless dishes taste great, too. and like you said, adding to the polenta itself adds flavor and depth to the dish, too.

    I saw you mentioned adding polenta to your anise biscotti….I do this all the time. My secret ingredient for amazing pancakes is polenta, too. A couple of tablespoons-ish [don’t measure(:] adds rustic, like you said, and also makes it somehow creamy and spongy, too, especially if you give the batter a minute to rest and absorb the polenta [quick cooking variety].
    Anyway, here’s to polenta and your great blog. Cheers!

  2. This looks fabulous. I’m going to make it for a barbeque this weekend with friends. LOVE IT!

  3. slap my hand…I need to crank the grill…this is one recipe I have to try this week…or soon. I am all about each and every ingredient!

  4. I have bought potenta nd its lying in my pantry as i did not have any recipe to make out of it. Now I have your version. Thanks for sharing. BTW, I am hosting a ONE DISH MEAL EVENT, I would love for you to participate. The details for the event are in my site. Will look forward to a recipe from you.

  5. Another cookbook worthy winner Marie! We love polenta! I never thought to mold it in a tart pan, however, so I appreciate this idea! Served this way it will make a nice light summer lunch or dinner. You really have to think about having all your wonderful recipes published, accompanied by your own photos. They are all so very professional.

  6. I love this idea. What a pretty presentation. I’m a huge polenta freak, so I’m always looking for new ways to flavor it. This is a great suggestion.

  7. Exactly how far away do you live, Marie? Because I would just love to have dinner at your house. I’ll bring the wine and dessert, of course. 😉

    Polenta and grilled veggies is one of my all-time favorites. In fact, that’s what my mom made me the first night home last summer when we were visiting. You always manage to make me miss my mom’s cooking. (And that’s a good thing!)

  8. A co-worker of mine just asked me how to prepare a good dish with polenta and I had not one idea. I’m going to pass this one on to him and I think he’s going to love it. Grazie!

  9. Thank you everyone for your nice comments, and for those of you who aren’t crazy about polenta, give it another try, and bump up the flavor more, you just might like it!

  10. My kind of polenta dish indeed,easily made from the extra when you make a bit extra for an easy second meal.

  11. Love the combination of polenta and the grilled veggies. If we ever get a lovely day for sitting on the patio this summer this will be one of my first meals sitting out enjoyint the sun. YUM!!!

  12. I’ve only been reading your blog for a few weeks, and already I have so many recipes I’d like to try. I love the idea of polenta in a tart pan– what a great way to serve it! Thanks for the suggesions on how to flavor it, too. I am already thinking of all the combinations that would taste great!

  13. Like the bright and colorful veggies, for sure! Can’t say much about polenta, though…because I’ve yet to try it! Sheesh, I know, I have such an uneducated palate!!

  14. I absolutely ADORE polenta in all forms, loose, thick, grilled, baked. It is one of my favorites. This looks like a nice way to present it.

  15. good recipes

  16. I can only get the instant… and I agree, one must flavor it…
    But I’m of the ‘love it’ camp. This tart looks wonderful – and so much quicker than pastry! (I’m also in to quick)

  17. Great to see you back in business Marie…I’m sold on polenta. Made cookies with cornmeal & pistachios the other day. Now this sounds even better!! YUMM!

  18. I am looking everywhere for “easy” vegetarian meals for my house guest, this will definitely be on the menu next week! Thanks

  19. Polenta lover over here. In fact, I love grit and cornbread and anything of that ilk. The veggies up the yum factor even more.

  20. What a great idea! I love the colors on this dish, very appetizing and tantalizing:)

  21. Marie you probably know I’m not a big polenta lover BUT I think I have not had the right dish!! This recipe could easily bring me over to the other side:)

  22. Yummy, a polenta tart is a great idea, Marie!

  23. I have never made polenta, but your dish looks great. Thanks for the advice on steering clear of the tube stuff. I’ll remember that when I try it.

  24. That looks absolutely lovely! I need to make some polenta soon…

  25. Your family sure gets an abundance of veg. It is a mouthwatering tart – I love polenta in any form…

  26. What a perfect looking tart Marie! Talk about yummy! And pretty too!

  27. Oh that looks so good, I love polenta and veggies:)

  28. My family is from the North of Italy! So we are polenta eaters!!! YUM!

  29. Fabulous idea to put polenta into a tart pan! You got me thinking about loads of variations for toppings…

  30. We love polenta here! I didn’t know they had a quick version of it – I have always just stirred & bossed Alfredo & the kids around to set the table, pour me a glass of wine, etc – I’d hate to give that up. This is such a great new way for us to have it. Thank you for posting this.

    xoxox Amy

  31. Great idea to put it in a tart pan! Will you be posting any more Napa Valley photos?

  32. Polenta doesn’t get into the limelight often enough–I think it’s great! I’m torn between the creamy type and the more rustic polenta taragna – the one with buckwheat flour in it. Ooooh…perhaps polenta with fried brains? 😀

  33. I have been enjoying polenta and trying to have it more often. I like the sound of topping it with some grilled vegetables. It sounds simple and tasty.

  34. That looks so good! I haven’t tried the girls on polenta yet but this is just the prodding I needed!

  35. Marie, this looks wonderful! The colors are so beautiful and I know the flavors must be amazing! Great dish!

  36. MArie, I do enjoy polenta, especially grilled. I prefer whipping up my own.

    Mushrooms and polenta seem to go real well.

  37. I see those tubes all the time and I say to myself ‘One dayI’m going to buy one’. Thanks for the tip not to! I really havent had Polenta all that much to form an opinion, but your presentation with the grilled veggies would intice me!

  38. Oh Marie..this looks absolutely to die for..carbs and all! 🙂 As much as I would love to have a small portion of a dish like this I would not be able to resist seconds and thirds!! Polenta is my weakness! 🙂 🙂

  39. I have to love a good polenta packed with flavour:D

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