Grilled Polenta

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Over Memorial Day weekend I grilled a pork roast Tuscan Style and served this grilled polenta as one of my side dishes, it went perfectly together. What makes this polenta extra special in flavor is the addition of shredded zucchini and grated cheese that gets folded in at the end.

Then for even more flavor, a roasted tomato is added on top of each slice so that when you cut into it everything mingles together and makes perfect harmony.

I used roma tomatoes, and after slicing off the tip and a little off the bottom I cut them into thirds, added a piece of shaved garlic on each, along with salt, pepper and dried oregano and then a generous drizzle of olive oil. Roasted in a 400 degree oven on a baking sheet lined with foil until wilted but still juicy. This can be done the morning of.

To shred your zucchini use either a box grater or a food processor as I did.

Next, you have to squeeze out all the liquid from your zucchini, a task I’ve always hated to do until I saw this brilliant way to do it on my friend Debby’s blog.

If you have a potato ricer laying around that you rarely use like I did, get it out and dust it off it will be your new best friend in the kitchen, if not, go out an get one it will make your life so much easier! I was amazed to see how much liquid came out when I used it, the zucchini was practically dry! It sure beats squeezing it with a towel or by hand, she even says it works great for spinach as well.
After your zucchini is squeezed out you’ll need to saute it in a pan drizzled with olive oil, cook it until it’s not raw anymore, it only takes a couple of minutes.

Cook your polenta according to directions and when it’s finished fold in the cooked zucchini and a generous amount of grated parmesan or romano cheese. I used a half a box of polenta and 3 zucchini.

Spread the mixture into a rimmed baking sheet that’s been brushed lightly all over with olive oil, I used a quarter sheet pan and it worked perfectly. Spread the warm polenta evenly all over the pan and smooth it down with a silicone spatula. After it cools down a bit cover with tin foil and refrigerate it preferably overnight. I would suggest doing this all the day before because you really want the polenta to be cold when you go to cut into it.

When you pull it out of the fridge and take the foil off you might have a tiny bit of condensation on top, no worries, just dab it with a paper towel. Now you’re ready to cut your polenta into squares.

Heat up your grill and make sure it’s super clean, then take a paper towel soaked with canola oil or vegetable oil and rub it all over your grates. Place your polenta squares on and wait until you see some good grill marks appear then flip over and do the other side. I have an olive oil sprayer so I sprayed a little on top of each before I flipped them over. I also had my grill on medium heat, you don’t want them to burn!

When done they should look like this! They hold their shape really well and look very nice when put together and placed on a platter.

They taste best when served slightly warmed. Now wouldn’t you like to bite into these?

Happy grilling!

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  1. I am adding these to my July menu plan. They look absolutely yumtious! You certainly have a way with food, Marie!

  2. Your recipe inspired me to make my own variation.

    The outcome: creamy inside and crunchy on the outside, these cakes are healthy and still very satisfying. Zucchinis really do add sweetness and color to the cakes, making them pretty to look at.

  3. I have always wanted to make — but never have — polenta. Your wonderful post has rekindled my urge. Thanks!

  4. I have always wanted to — but never have — made polenta. Your post has rekindled my urge. If it doesn’t rain this weekend . . . .

  5. Never heard of adding zucchini to polenta. I swear Marie you have the best ideas. They look awesome.

  6. zucchini added to the polenta is such a great idea! Especially later in the summer, when zucchini is overflowing from everyone’s gardens. I much prefer pan fried or grilled polenta like this over soft versions. Looks awesome!

  7. First of all, that’s a brilliant idea for squeezing liquid out of zucchini using a potato ricer. Second, I mist make this dish Wednesday. I love all things polenta.

  8. First time here, lovely blog, brava!


  9. Just loooooove the recipe! I even made a version of it last night and it was AMAZING! I so “heart” your blog…so I am sharing it with my readers!

    Thank you!!
    LOVE IT,

  10. Love the addition of courgettes to polenta. My sister gave me a potato ricer 3 years ago – I have never, ever used it! Nope, not once – now I have a good reason.

  11. I no longer have my grill…it won’t however deter me from making this in my oven.
    I find polenta is so versatile and I love how it picks up the accompanying flavours.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  12. This is a great side dish. I will have to try it soon. Yhanks

  13. I never thought of adding shredded zucchini to polenta! What an easy but wonderful idea! I can just taste it with the roasted tomato on top! Sounds like the perfect Italian side dish. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Anonymous says

    I absoulutely love your style of cooking and it reminds me of my mother & grandmother’s way of cooking. A pinch of this, a handful of that, they never followed a written recipe they never wrote it down, they just cooked unbelievebly good food.

  15. What a great idea. I have some polenta I’ve been wondering what to do with, now I think I know!

  16. I am always excited when I see that you have a new post. You have the most creative ideas and all of your food looks amazing! It won’t be long until we have lots and lots of fresh, local zucchini. I can’t wait to try your grilled polenta.

  17. Nice addition with the grated zucchini. For many it may look and sound easy but grilling polenta can be tricky (it can stick). As Marie states, ensure your grill surface is very clean.

  18. That’s exactly how I grate my zucchini when I make frittata! I never thought of embedding anything into polenta! excellent idea!

  19. YES…I would like to bite into those…yum. I’ve not had a lot of polenta, but what I’ve had, I’ve liked!


  20. I love grilled polenta. It such a wonderful side dish and I am always looking for recipes that can be done ahead of time. Especially when having guest over.

  21. Marie

    This is just the kind of polenta I love to eat; grilled like a piece of toast! I like the idea of using zucchini in the batter too, that makes it lighter I think. GReat dish!

  22. I have a weakness for anything that involves polenta…these look delicious with the roasted tomatoes on top!

  23. As a fellow polenta lover, you may want to try this recipe. Strange, but so good!

  24. Oh Marie.. everything looks and sounds delicious! I could totally go for that Tuscan Grilled Pork.. to die for!! And this polenta.. yum! I battle with polenta or risotto being my favorite comfort food. But I know that today definitely it’s your grilled polenta! xoxo

  25. Another great grill recipe. I made a variation of your grilled eggplant salad over the weekend. Instead of the corn, I used white beans, bocaccini and olives so it was more like an ‘eggplant panzanella’. Have to thank you for the inspiration.

  26. Yummy!

  27. I grilled my polenta for fig jam last week because they wouldn’t fry up and brown!
    It’s the only way I will prepare polenta from now on!
    Love those roasted tomatoes……

  28. Wouldn’t I like to bite into these? Of course, I would. At what time should I stop by? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  29. This looks like the perfect side for summer grilling and a great way to use the bumper crop of zucchine we always get.

  30. Wonderful idea with the zucchini and polenta – perfect for grilling !

  31. Oh, man, I’m so doing this. What a great recipe, Marie! I mean who doesn’t love polenta, but then grilling it is brilliant! Oh, and I love using my ricer for squeezing out the moisture in spinach and zucchini. Thanks for the recipe!

  32. MM Love polenta. This looks great!

  33. It looks absolutely delicious (as always).

  34. Absolutely goregous, and I love Roma tomatoes so much. I will definiely be referring back to this recipe.

  35. When I make rosti, I use my salad spinner to dry the potatoes..

    I love polenta and I am so happy to see the zuchinnis in there, just add dimension to a somewhat bland ingredient…with the tomatoes of course!!

  36. Yes please! That looks great!

  37. Squeezing the water out with the ricer is a brilliant idea. And this polenta – wow I love it and I think it may be my father’s day idea (along with that pork roast you’re mentioning).

  38. I never thought of using my food mill to squeeze out moisture from things like zucchini and spinach! That is so brilliant- I love it! And I also love the zucchini you put in the polenta. Looks great.

  39. I have bookmarked this one Marie for when we are inundated with zucchini here in the Great White North.

  40. Georgous & stunning fried polenta squares!!

    Just awesome & utterly tasty food!


  41. Hi,
    this looks delicious, and I’m sure it tastes so too. Will definitely be making those. Love the idea of the tomato with garlic on top.

  42. My husband would be so thankful if I made this for him, Marie! He likes brocolli added to his polenta.
    I love the tip about using the potato ricer to drain the zucchini! I bet it would also work well for cooked spinach.

  43. I think your photos will convince the love of my life to try grilled polenta. Great recipe.


  1. […] is cut into french fry shaped sticks) that is ready to fry in olive oil, bake or even grill like the beautiful grilled polenta in photo above. Available in either quick-cooking or regular versions, the typical ratio isย 4 cups of liquid […]

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