Polenta is one of those dishes that just make you feel comforted, but sometimes the texture can be too soft for what we’re craving. This grilled polenta recipe fixes that and as a bonus it’s great way to use up leftover polenta. This savory recipe would be a wonderful starter or side dish. The combination of polenta and cheese is simply irresistible.
If you have leftover polenta then use that, but if not then start this recipe off by cooking onions and chopped kale over medium heat. You can use broccoli rabe, spinach, or other greens if you prefer those.
Combine the cornmeal and water until fully blended and then add this to the veggie pan. Cook this for 25 minutes stirring constantly until thick and then pour into a 9″x9″ pan. Pop the pan in fridge for at least hours to firm up. If you take it out too soon it probably won’t hold it’s shape in the oven and this is one reason why leftover polenta is a great starting point for this dish because you can just whip this up from leftovers in the fridge with a little planning.
Once the polenta is properly chilled cut into small squares (or rectangles if you prefer) and place on a baking sheet. Cut slices of fresh mozzarella about the same size as your polenta pieces and place one piece of mozzarella on each polenta piece.
Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese melts and begins to turn golden on top. Serve these grilled polenta squares with a side of warmed marinara sauce for dipping.
We love how simple this recipe is and how the flavors of the mozzarella and the corn create a mouthwatering way to eat polenta with your hands. If you’re a fan of polenta then this is one recipe you need to try out.
Makes 16 squares
3h prep time
40m cook time
- 2 Tbsp virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 6 cups water, divided
- 1 bunch Lusitano kale, ribs removed and leaves chopped
- 1 1/2 cups dry polenta (9 oz)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 8-oz blocks of mozzarella or cheddar cheese
- Sauté onion in olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 4 cups water and kale.
- In a separate bowl combine remaining water with polenta, stirring well to avoid lumps. Add polenta to veggies just before water comes to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 25 minutes on medium-low heat stirring constantly. Scrape the bottom often so that the polenta doesn’t stick.
- Pour into an 8”x8” baking dish and refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. Turn out polenta onto a cutting board and cut into 16 squares. Cut cheese into slices roughly the same size as your polenta pieces.
- Place polenta slices on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and beginning to brown. Serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.
Recipe adapted from Christina’s Cucina.