Serves a Crowd

Grilled Polenta with Almond Pesto, Dried Tomatoes and Zucchini

December  4, 2009
4 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

This grilled polenta takes a new twist with an almond pesto which is extremely light. It is then topped with sun dried tomatoes and zucchini and grilled. This is definately my very favourite! —Maria Teresa Jorge

What You'll Need
  • Almond Pesto
  • 20 leaves of fresh basil
  • 20 fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup blanched raw almonds
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (more or less)
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • Polenta
  • 1 cup cornmeal or instant polenta
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium Zucchini, washed but not peeled
  • 10 sun dried tomatoes, chopped in pieces
  • 12 teaspoons thick cream
  • Maldon Salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  1. In a heavy pan bring water and salt to a boil. Pour the cornmeal in a steady stream and whisk. Lower heat to low and cook the polenta so that it barely boils, whisking constantly. When it starts to thicken, use a wooden spoon and continue cooking for 45 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until the polenta creates a crust in the pan and pulls away from the sides. If using pre-cooked polenta follow the instructions in the package.
  2. Line a shallow baking tray with plastic film, spread the polenta to about 3/4 inches thick, cover with film and allow to cool completely.
  3. For the pesto: In a food processor add the basil leaves shredded small, the parsley and the salt. Pulse to chop finely. Add the almonds and pulse until in small pieces. Add the mustard, 2 pinches of salt and pulse. Start adding the olive oil in astream until you have a thick paste. Depending on how bif the basil leaves are and how you process, the olive oil may vary from 1/3 cup to a little more. Season with salt and pepper and put in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. It will keep in the fridge for 1 month.
  4. Pre-heat the oven grill to very hot with rack in top shelf. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  5. Wash the zucchini, cut in half or 3 equal parts and cut in a mandolin in thin slices.
  6. Cut the dry tomatoes in small pieces.
  7. Cut the cold and firm polenta in rectangles and put on the baking tray. Brush the polenta on both sides with olive oil and grill for 3 minutes on each side or until crispy and brown.
  8. Lower the oven grill to medium hot and lower the rack to 1 slot lower.
  9. Top the grilled polenta with pesto, sprinkle dry tomato, cover with zucchini slices (raw). Sprinkle with Maldon salt and a dash of freshly ground pepper and add a teaspoon of thick cream on top.
  10. Grill until the zucchini and cream are golden. Serve immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • dymnyno

2 Reviews

AntoniaJames December 15, 2009
Not sure how I missed this one, but it looks beautiful, and can be made using ingredients available in December from our Farmers' Market! It's on the must-try list for this weekend. Thanks for posting it!
dymnyno December 10, 2009
This sounds amazing (all your recipes do)