Grilled Polenta with Ramp Chimichurri

By • April 24, 2012 6 Comments

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Author Notes: This appetizer was prepared and served at a class I taught on appetizers and cocktail parings. Each dish featured a spring ingredient. Although I had not previously cooked with ramps, they seemed like a must.

Since they are so delicate in comparison to scallions and onions, I decided to keep them raw. The resulting sauce was tangy and fresh. The perfect counterbalance to the creamy, rich polenta.


Serves 8

Grilled Polenta

  • 4 cups cornmeal
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Oil a half size sheet pan and line with parchment. Oil the parchment lightly.
  2. Bring 4 cups water, vegetable stock, honey, olive oil and salt to boil. While whisking, add the cornmeal in a steady stream. Whisk in the coconut milk, and a splash or two of water, if necessary, to get a smooth, lump-free consistency. Continue cooking over low heat until thickened and bubbling, about 5 minutes. (*I use regular corn meal, for fast cooking. If using coarse ground cornmeal, or polenta, cook an additional 10-15 mins until soft.)
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the nutritional yeast, oregano and olives. Season to taste, if necessary.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Transfer to refrigerator and chill until set.
  5. Once set, invert pan onto work surface. Remove parchment and cut polenta into desired shape, such as rounds or 1x3" sticks.
  6. Reserve for later grilling (last up to 4 days refrigerated), or, preheat griddle.
  7. Brush hot griddle with olive oil and grill polenta about 8-10 minutes per side, until golden and crisp on the outside. (Please note: finer ground cornmeal sticks more and requires a well seasoned cooking surface.)
  8. Serve warm or room temperature with ramp chimichurri.

Ramp Chimichurri

  • 2 bunches ramps, rough chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, rough chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until ingredients are just blended together, but still chunky.

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