Grilled Polenta with Zucchini and Goat Cheese

The versatility of polenta is endless and why it ends up in so many of my dishes.  Made creamy and soft, it’s a wonderful side to meat or fish, swirling in different herbs, cheeses or veggies to compliment the dish, or as a “pasta” base for topping ratatouille.  Made firm, polenta can be easily substituted for bread and as an appetizer crostini topped with a tapenade.

I really do keep a simple pantry.  My condiments are fairly basic and I can be creative with a variety of oils, vinegars, herbs, salts and spices.  In other posts it may have appeared that “you name it, I have it”, but no, not so!  It’s like gadgets in the kitchen; I keep those to a bare minimum!  Because I cook fairly Mediterranean style my pantry holds just that.  I always keep cornmeal in bulk (no, not an overload, but just enough) for polenta, or as a thickener for soups or stews and in breading and baking.

Preparing the polenta the day before and grilling the next day, I served a light dinner of Italian sausages with peppers and onions, pared with the grilled polenta.  Easy and yummy!

Grilled Polenta with Zucchini and Goat Cheese

3 cups boiling water (or water and chicken or veggie broth), adding additional liquid as needed

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup polenta or yellow cornmeal

1 zucchini, grated and squeezed dry

2 oz goat cheese

Olive oil for grilling

To prepare the polenta:  Simmer water in the bottom pan of a double boiler.  Add 3 cups boiling water to the top pan.  If not using the double boiler, use a large saucepan bring the 3 cups of liquid to a boil.  Add the salt and slowly whisk in the polenta, pouring the polenta like “rain” to prevent any clumping.   Reduce to low and continue to cook and, switching to a wooden spoon, stir occasionally on a double boiler, more frequently in a saucepan for about 45 minutes.  The polenta should be soft and creamy, pulling away from the bottom.  If the polenta appears to cook too fast or less creamy, add in small amounts of hot water or broth.

Meanwhile, sauté the shredded zucchini in a heated skillet with olive oil until lightly cooked.  Remove from heat and set aside.   When the polenta is done, stir in the sautéed zucchini and goat cheese.   Pour into a greased 13 x 9 pan, spreading evenly, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

To grill the polenta:  Heat a clean grill or indoor grill pan, lightly brushing with oil.  Cut the polenta into squares or desired shapes and lightly brush with oil to prevent sticking.  Grill until light marks appear, turn and grill other side.  Plate and serve!

16 thoughts on “Grilled Polenta with Zucchini and Goat Cheese

  1. Polenta is one of the dishes I neglect the most! I love it, but never make it at home, not even sure why. ONe of those mysteries.. My favorite would be grilled, those grill marks made me salivate… 😉

  2. I’ve never made polenta at home either. I never would have even guessed how to make it. I’ve only had it a few times at various restaurants and was never bowled over by it. Perhaps with the zucchini and goat cheese…that sounds like my kind of flavor combo. 🙂

  3. Both plates of polenta look delicious. Whenever I make polenta, I always make more than I need for that meal. I pour some in a dish to harden and then it is grilled or baked. I’ll be putting zucchini in the next batch.

  4. I remember having polenta as a kid and thinking it was the most vile thing I’d ever had. I tried it again a couple of weeks ago and LOVED it. Feel quite sad I’ve been missing out on it for all these years so I’m trying to make up for lost time, lol! Love the idea of this – something to make for dinner this week methinks!

  5. My grandfather loved grilled polenta and would insist that whoever was cooking make more polenta than was needed for the meal. That way he was assured of having enough polenta for at least one meal with grilled polenta. He would have really enjoyed this post.

  6. HI Linda, I’m trying to catch up on reading everyone’s posts! I love your basic healthy reicpes. I’m going to try this recipe since it’s gluten free. I love trying tasty gluten free recipes for my sister.

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