Polenta – the humble grain. It is often overlooked and forgotten about, but it shouldn’t be. It is so versatile and takes on the flavors you use. It can also be served hot and fresh with the consistency of a risotto. Or you can cool it and let it set and then grill or fry it. It is creamy and easy to make. When I think of polenta the first things that comes to mind is shrimp n’ grits – my mom use to make this dish using polenta (yes polenta and grits are both made from cornmeal, but they are slightly different in color and texture) – but polenta can do so much more. Like these simple polenta stacks topped with roasted tomatoes and creamy burrata. It is great for an appetizer or served as a dish – throw some grilled shrimp or chicken on the side for a protein packed addition. These would be great for a party or BBQ as well and you could make bite sites pieces for “finger” food for people to enjoy. Enjoy this fun polenta dish that is not usually the first thing that comes to mind when using polenta and let me know what you think of it!
- 1 Cup Polenta
- 2 1/2 Cups Water
- 4 Tbsp Butter
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Pecorino
- 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 Tbsp Basil
- 3 Tbsp Minced Garlic
- 6-8oz burrata
- Salt + Pepper
- Serves: 6-8
- Prep Time: 20 Minutes
- Cool Time: Overnight
- Cook Time: 30 Minutes
- First we need to make the polenta so it can cool overnight. Start by adding the polenta and water in to a pot and heat on medium heat. Continuously stir the polenta while the water is absorbed.
- When the polenta starts to thicken (about 10 minutes), reduce the heat to low and add in the milk, pecorino, butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue stirring to combine the ingredients well.
- Transfer the polenta to a 9×9 (or similar rectangular) dish and spread evenly. Pop in the fridge and allow to cool overnight so the polenta can set.
- The next day when you are ready to finish the dish and the polenta has set let’s roast the tomatoes.
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
- In an oven safe dish, add the tomatoes, olive oil, basil, garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir to evenly coat the tomatoes. Place in the oven and roast for 25 minutes until the tomatoes start bursting.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, let’s get the polenta ready. Carefully cut the polenta in to squares.
- Heat a pan with a small amount of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the polenta and cook for 2-3 minutes, flip and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the stove and transfer to a plate. (if you have a grilling pan, you can use that to get some nice grill marks, just make sure to coat with oil so the polenta doesn’t stick!).
- Top the polenta with the burrata – the amount will depend on how big your squares are, but cut the burrata so the creamy center is exposed and evenly distribute across the polenta bites.
- When the tomatoes are done, remove from the oven and spoon on top of the burrata.
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