Grilled Polenta with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Hey folks! Sorry I’ve been a bit scarce. I’m still getting into the swing of things and trying oh-so-hard to face my novel revision whenever possible.

I’ve been cooking a few new things in the meantime. This is my new favorite snack. Or is it a meal? You decide. For me, it totally hits that crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside, salty-savory spot. I usually fill that spot with cheese and crackers, but this has the added bonus of being totally cheese-less.

It’s way, way easy to grill polenta, which is basically the Italian version of yellow grits. To grill it you just use thickened, cooled polenta and slice it up. True confession: I just bought some in a tube, sliced it 1/2 inch thick, brushed with olive oil and grilled. The instructions in Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian are helpful, but if you know your way around a grill you can just feel your way through it.

HTCEV also has instructions for making polenta from scratch, which I’ll have to try again. Here are the basic instructions for polenta. On my first try I didn’t let it thicken quite enough, and the slices started to fall apart when I tried to cook them. I think I ended up broiling them.

That time (pictured above) I made some kind of salsa to go with it. This time I used my husband’s leftover homemade Arrabiata sauce—-a favorite Williams-Sonoma recipe. We’ve never used fresh tomatoes in that sauce, though, like it calls for—just canned ones, and it’s fantastic that way.

This recipe got a thumbs up from the hubs and one kid (sans sauce), but the second kid was very suspicious. Maybe next time. And there will be a next time.

Grilling in progress below. The kids thought it looked like grilled pineapple.

I’ll be attending the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Carolinas conference here in Charlotte this weekend. Say hello if you’re there!


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