A delicious appetizer or side dish, this grilled polenta is full of rich flavors from smoked mozzarella, fresh basil and tomatoes. Buon gusto!

Basil Polenta with Tomatoes
Recipe type: Grilling
Serves: 4
  • 2 1/2 Cups low-fat (2%) or whole milk
  • 1 Cup cold water
  • 1/4 Cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 Cup imported instant polenta (about 6 ounces)
  • 4 plum tomatoes; halved, seeded, and cut into 1/4" dice
  • 1 garlic clove; minced
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Cup grated smoked mozzarella cheese
  1. In a medium-size heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk, water, basil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper to a boil over high heat. Slowly add the polenta while whisking constantly in one direction.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 2 to 4 minutes, or until very thick.
  3. Pour the polenta onto an ungreased baking sheet and spread into an 8-inch round. Set aside until firm.
  4. Preheat the grill to high and brush with oil.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Set aside.
  6. Cut the polenta into 8 triangles. Brush the triangles with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Grill the polenta for 3 minutes, or until browned on the underside. Turn the polenta triangles over and sprinkle with the mozzarella. Cover the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until the cheese has melted.
  7. Transfer to serving plates, top with the tomato mixture, and serve.
This recipe yields 4 servings.

Comments: When grilled, polenta becomes deliciously crusty on the outside while remaining creamy and tender on the inside. Here it's topped with garlicky tomatoes -- a terrific way to start a summer meal. Since polenta has a tendency to stick to the grill, generously oil both the grill and the polenta wedges, or you'll never pry them off the grill.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 104 Calories; 10g Fat (85.8% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 807mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Vegetable; 2 Fat.

NOTES: Recipe from "Italian Grilling" by Jean Galton

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