Grilled Polenta

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!