Grilled Polenta with Roasted Tomatoes

Make this easy Grilled Polenta with Roasted Tomatoes dish to serve as a vegetarian side. After grilling the polenta, top with charred tomatoes and your favorite cheese. Garnish with basil and balsamic vinegar before serving.

This grilled polenta with roasted tomatoes is the perfect easy side dish to serve with dinner.
This grilled polenta with roasted tomatoes is the perfect easy side dish to serve with dinner.

Ingredients

  • Polenta: Ground cornmeal, also known as polenta, is the main ingredient when making this grilled polenta.
  • Butter: Adding butter to the polenta will give a richness to the polenta squares before grilling. You can also substitute with olive oil if you prefer.
  • Olive Oil: Use olive oil to dress the tomatoes before grilling or roasting.
  • Tomatoes: Use your favorite tomatoes for this dish. Tomatoes on the vine will be easier to transport, since you can pick up a cluster of them on the vine and easily move them from the grill to top the polenta, but any tomatoes you have will work.
  • Broth: I enjoy making my polenta with broth instead of just water, but either will cook the polenta nicely.

How to Make Grilled Polenta with Roasted Tomatoes

Make the Polenta

Make the polenta and then make it into the polenta cubes.
Make polenta in a pot before making it into cubes.

The first step when making this dish is making the polenta. Add the water or broth to a large pot and bring it to a simmer. Once simmering, add the polenta and cover. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and whisk well and add in the butter and salt.

The polenta will thicken as it cools, but if it is still soupy, add in more butter.

Once slightly cooled, pour the polenta into a baking or brownie pan and place in the fridge for 2 hours to overnight to allow the polenta to set.

Once set, flip the tray over and cut the polenta into squares. These squares are now ready to be grilled!

Fire Up the Grill

With your grill top or grill pan, add a little olive oil or cooking spray. Then add the square polenta to the pan and allow the grill to slightly char the polenta – about 4 minutes per side.

Make grilled tomatoes by adding them directly to the grill or the grill pan.
Make grilled tomatoes by adding them directly to the grill or the grill pan.

While you are grilling the polenta, add the tomatoes to the grill pan and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Adding the tomatoes to the grill will cause them to blister, char and possibly rupture. Once the tomatoes are charred to the desired “done-ness”, remove from heat.

Plate the dish together by layering the grilled polenta at the bottom, and then adding the charred tomatoes on top.

Bake the tomatoes if you are worried about them falling through the grates in the grill.

If you are unable to add the tomatoes to the grill, or simply are worried about over cooking them or having them fall through the grill, you can bake the tomatoes instead.

It’s the same process, dress the vine-on tomatoes with olive oil and salt and add to a baking dish. Add the dish to a preheated 350°F oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and beginning to burst.

Add Desired Toppings

Add a soft cheese such as burrata or mozzarella and then drizzle with olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar. Other toppings you might like to add is a dusting of parmesan cheese, a flavored olive oil, or other odds and ends stored in your pantry.

Special Tools for Grilled Polenta

Since this is a grilled dish, the best option to make it is to grill it on a, well, grill. The smokiness and char that a grill will give to your polenta is difficult to recreate in an oven.

An alternative to using a grill is using a grill pan on the stove top. Using a grill top will give your polenta those

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Grilled Polenta with Roasted Tomatoes

5.0 from 1 vote
Recipe by Sarah
Course: side, vegetarian sideCuisine: American, ItalianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Calories

300

kcal

Ingredients

  • Polenta
  • 1 cup polenta

  • 4 cups water or broth

  • 4 tbsn butter

  • 1 pinch salt

  • Blistered Tomatoes
  • 1 lbs tomatoes

  • 4 tbsn olive oil

  • salt

  • Toppings
  • basil

  • mozzarella

  • balsamic vinegar

  • olive oil

Directions

  • Make the polenta: Add the water or broth to a large pot and bring it to a simmer. Once simmering, add the polenta and cover. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and whisk well and add in the butter and salt.
  • The polenta will thicken as it cools, but if it is still soupy, add in more butter.
  • Once slightly cooled, pour the polenta into a baking or brownie pan and place in the fridge for 2 hours to overnight to allow the polenta to set.
  • Once set, flip the tray over and cut the polenta into squares. These squares are now ready to be grilled!
  • With your grill top or grill pan, add a little olive oil or cooking spray. Then add the square polenta to the pan and allow the grill to slightly char the polenta – about 4 minutes per side.
  • While you are grilling the polenta, add the tomatoes to the grill pan and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Adding the tomatoes to the grill will cause them to blister, char and possibly rupture. Once the tomatoes are charred to the desired “done-ness”, remove from heat.
  • Plate the dish together by layering the grilled polenta at the bottom, and then adding the charred tomatoes on top. Add a soft cheese such as burrata or mozzarella and then drizzle with olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar.

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