Grilled Polenta with Balsamic Roasted Onions & Mushrooms

Grilled Polenta with Balsamic Roasted Onions & Mushrooms: Polenta is very versatile and can be served in place of rice or other grains. It’s delicious served with roasted mushrooms and onions and your favourite tomato sauce. Try it topped with a thick chili or serve it alongside grilled cod.

Polenta is very versatile and can be served in place of rice or other grains. Make a batch with your kids and let them choose their own shapes.

One stormy Friday a very long time ago, a group of us ended up at my mom and dad’s after work. The gathering turned into an impromptu dinner party but there was no menu planned or extra groceries bought so to feed a crowd on the fly I decided to serve a simple tomato sauce over polenta.

Polenta and tomato sauce is very delicious but even grilled it can look a little boring when you don’t have garnishes like herbs and roasted mushrooms, which I was lacking that night. To compensate for the plainness of the meal I used my cookie cutters to cut the polenta into gingerbread men and guitars and plated it with the gingerbread man playing the guitar. My husband is a guitar player so our friends titled the dish “Polenta-Guy” and all sorts of silliness ensued.

Grilled Polenta with Balsamic Roasted Onions & Mushrooms: Polenta is very versatile and can be served in place of rice or other grains. It’s delicious served with roasted mushrooms and onions and your favourite tomato sauce. Try it topped with a thick chili or serve it alongside grilled cod.

It was our version of the cake-eating passage in Margaret Atwood’s “The Edible Woman.” Not quite as dramatic but we all had a great laugh.

Polenta is very versatile and can be served in place of rice or other grains. It’s delicious served with roasted mushrooms and onions and your favourite tomato sauce. Try it topped with a thick chili or serve it alongside grilled cod.  
You can serve polenta in soft mounds but I prefer it chilled, sliced and grilled.
Polenta is fun to make with kids. Let them choose their own cookie cutter shapes

Grilled Polenta with Balsamic Roasted Onions & Mushrooms

Serves 4
Ingredients:
  • 4 cups of water or broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. fine or medium grind cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions:
  1. Line a 9”x 9” pan with parchment paper.*
  2. Pour water or broth into a deep pot and whisk in the cornmeal. Add the bay leaf and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly (or at least frequently), for about 20 minutes. Mixture will splatter so use a long handled wooden spoon. When cooked, remove from heat, stir in the butter and parmesan, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Scrape into prepared pan, smooth the top and leave to cool.
  3. Once set, turn out onto a cutting board and cut into shapes (squares will do). Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with a little parmesan and broil until golden.
*For thinner polenta spread in a 9"x13" pan

For the roasted onions & mushrooms:

  • 2 red onions
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
 
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Peel and slice onions in half from top to bottom. Slice each half into thick rounds, toss with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and season with salt & pepper.
  2. Spread in a parchment lined baking dish and roast at 375 F until very soft, stirring often, about 45 minutes (or longer, if you like).
  3. Toss mushrooms with olive oil. Season with salt & pepper and spread in a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast alongside onions (375 F) for about 30 minutes.
 
 
 

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