Grilled polenta with Parmesan

Grilled polenta with Parmesan

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
1 litre Chicken and veal stock
or 1 litre Vegetable stock
200g polenta
150g parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put the stock into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in the polenta.
  2. Stir over a medium heat until the polenta thickens, season with salt and pepper, then reduce the heat to as low as it will go and cover the pan with a lid. Continue to cook for 30–40 minutes, or until the polenta tastes soft and smooth, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning on the bottom of the pan.
  3. Finely grate the Parmesan and line a deep tray, about 20 x 20 cm, with cling film. Remove the polenta from the heat and stir in all but 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan, then leave to cool slightly.
  4. Pour the polenta into the prepared tray and spread it out evenly; it should be about 1 cm thick. Leave to cool completely.
  5. Heat the grill to its highest setting. Bash the unpeeled garlic clove with the flat side of a large knife, put it into a small saucepan with the olive oil and heat until the garlic sizzles, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. When the polenta is cool, cut into 4 or 8 even-sized shapes. Brush a baking sheet with some of the garlic oil and arrange the polenta pieces on the sheet. Brush the top of the polenta with the oil and grill until brown and crisp. Turn the slices and grill again until crisp.
  7. Remove the tray from the grill and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Grill again until the cheese bubbles and starts to brown.


  • The polenta can be pan-fried or griddled rather than grilled, over a medium to high heat until browned and warm through.


  • The polenta can be flavoured with chopped fresh herbs such as basil, flat-leaf parsley or oregano, stirred in with the Parmesan. You can also vary the type of cheese: goat’s cheese works well, as does any hard cheese.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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