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Grilled Polenta Cakes

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The lovely Cristina Ferrare, hostess of Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love on Oprah’s OWN Network, recently published a cookbook, Big Bowl of Love. The cookbook is filled with more than 150 simple, fabulous recipes that the entire family will love. I’ve bookmarked almost every recipe to try, but the Grilled Polenta Cakes were really calling my name so I started with those.

I love polenta, but don’t eat it often enough. That is going to change because these Grilled Polenta Cakes are easy to make and so tasty. The grilled polenta rounds are covered with tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and fresh chopped basil. What is not to love? All of my favorite things in one little appetizer.


I ate a few grilled polenta cakes with a salad and it was the perfect light lunch. Grilled Polenta Cakes are also the perfect appetizer for parties. They are simple to make, beautiful to present, and delicious.

Thanks Cristina for a fabulous recipe. I can’t wait to cook my way through the rest of your fantastic cookbook, Big Bowl of Love. Oh-and if you are like me and enjoy cookbooks with beautiful food photos, this is the book for you. Todd Porter and Diane Cu, White on Rice Couple, took all of the photographs for this book. I love their work and all of the photos in Big Bowl of Love are stunning!

Grilled Polenta Cakes

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Yield: Serves 8-10


1 tube polenta, removed from casing, cut into 1/2-inch slices, and patted dry with paper towels

Approximately 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Cooking spray

1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (you may have some leftover)

Pinch of kosher salt

1/4 cup basil, chopped

Cracked pepper


1. Brush both sides of the polenta cakes with the olive oil, and set aside.

2. Heat a grill pan until really hot. Lay the polenta cakes in one layer on the pan, and grill for 8-10 minutes on each side or until both sides are golden and crunchy and have grill marks.

3. Remove the cakes from the grill and let cool on a baking rack.

4. Just before you are ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the grilled polenta cakes on the baking sheet. Place a heaping tablespoon of your favorite tomato sauce on each slice, then add a generous amount of freshly grated Parmesan cheese to each. Bake for 15 minutes.

5. Garnish with fresh chopped basil, kosher salt, and cracked pepper, and serve warm.

Recipe from Cristina Ferrare's Big Bowl of Love

All images and text ©.

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If you like these Grilled Polenta Cakes, you might also like:

Polenta Pizza Stackers from Cooking with my Kid
Polenta Cakes from bell’alimento
Polenta Cups with Sweet Peppers, Manchego, and Almonds from Table Talk


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Categories: Appetizer