I make my polenta bruschetta with the quick cook polenta which is now so easy to find in whole food stores and on supermarket shelves. I really love it just cooked and poured hot onto a plate instead of mashed potato but my offspring are not so keen! They really like it grilled like this so that it is crispy on the outside and soft and comforting on the inside. I sometimes stir sweetcorn kernels through it before I leave it so set which gives an extra bit of texture to the bruschetta when it is served.
When I cooked this batch I used a grill press which gives it these lovely seared lines but I sometimes make it in my heavy cast iron griddle pan and I also bake it in the oven from time to time – whatever floats my boat!
Cooking with Polenta
Polenta complements so many dishes, you can use it anywhere you would use potatoes – chop it into fingers instead of triangles and, Hey Presto, Polenta Chips! Serve it straight from the pan as mash or roll it into sausage shapes and bake it like potato croquettes. It is wonderful with a flavourful stew or a creamy sauce.
How to Make Polenta Bruschetta
If you’re anything like me once you have got the hang of this easy dish it will, very quickly, become one of those midweek standbys. I always have polenta in my store cupboard with the pasta, rice and couscous for quick after school meals these days! It couldn’t be simple to make, you just need a flavoured stock bubbling away in a pan, pour the polenta in in a long thin, continuous stream, stirring as you go to prevent lumps, and cook it gently until all the water has been absorbed – it takes about 5 minutes from start to finish!
- 160 g instant polenta
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 2 tsp dried chilli flakes/dried herbs (or to taste)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Bring the vegetable stock to the boil in a medium sized non stick pan
- Pour the polenta in in a steady stream
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. It will be bubbling like a mud monster so take care that it doesn't spit at you.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the chilli flakes or herbs
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Lightly grease a large baking sheet with olive oil and spoon the hot polenta on to it
- Spread evenly using a butter knife, it should be about 1.5cm thick, shape into a rough rectangle
- Leave to cool for about an hour
- Preheat the grill to high or heat a griddle pan until it is smoking
- Cut the polenta into quarters cut each piece in half on the diagonal to give you 8 triangles
- Brush very lightly with oil
- Grill or griddle for 4-5 minutes on each side until crisp and golden
- Serve two wedges of polenta per person with the topping of your choice
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