I really like polenta. Which is a little odd I suppose since I abhore grits (yes, I know, a bit sad since I live in the South). But, with grits, I think it's primarily a textural thing. They don't really have much taste other than the butter or cheese they're often drowned in. My husband tells me I just haven't had good grits. But I digress. With polenta, the texture is much firmer, and I like it. So I thought I'd give these polenta cakes a shot.
Adapted from Grilled Polenta Cakes.
- 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 grated parmesan substitute
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
- Cracked pepper
Brush both sides of the polenta cakes with the olive oil, and set aside.
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.
Remove the cakes from the grill and let cool on a baking rack.
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 Parmesan to each. Bake for 15 minutes. (We actualy skipped the baking step and just warmed our sauce in the microwave).
Garnish with fresh chopped basil, kosher salt, and cracked pepper, and serve warm.
The kids absolutely devoured these. I was kind of surprised. I wasn't sure whether they would like polenta. But then again, it is topped with pasta sauce, which they both adore.
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