Tag Archive for Polenta

Grilled Side Dishes

Grilled Romaine Salad

To continue with our grilling series this week, today we have our favorite grilled side dishes! Please don’t think that the only side dishes you can make are grilled vegetables! Some of our favorites require a combination of using the grill and putting the finishing touches on in the kitchen. 

Green Tomato Caprese Salad

Grilled Mushrooms in Butter

Mexican Style Grilled Corn

Fire Roasted Tomatillo and Poblano Salsa

Grilled Romaine Salad with Tomato and Corn Tumble

Grilled Asparagus with Hollandaise

Grilled Polenta

Grilled Peaches



Kale Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons

Kale Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons

We all know that kale is the latest rage and is now considered a “superfood”. The first place I ever had a kale salad was at Houston’s. A friend of mine who doesn’t typically eat “leafy greens” said it was fantastic and recommended it to me. She wasn’t kidding! Ever since then, I have typically ordered a kale salad when I have gone out to eat. I was at Marlow’s Tavern recently and ordered their kale caesar salad with grilled chicken. It was outstanding! It came with chopped boiled eggs. Interesting twist, I thought. A few days later, I was eating with some friends at Garrisons. I ordered their caesar salad and it came with delicious polenta croutons. My brain went into overdrive and I decided to try to combine the concepts of these three salads into one. What I came up with is pretty awesome, if I do say so myself!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 5 min; Cook Time – 45  min. plus an hour to cool


For the salad:

kale ( I use the mix from Costco)

hard boiled eggs, chopped

Caesar dressing (I use Girard’s Light Caesar)

Shredded parmesan


Tomato, chopped

For the Polenta:

3 c. water

1 1/2 c. yellow cornmeal

1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 tsp. salt

2. tsp. olive oil

1/8 tsp. fresh cracked pepper

1/3 c. shredded parmesan

Preparing Kale Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons:

Before you make the salad, you need to make the polenta. Here’s how: Put water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and pour in the cornmeal, stirring constantly. Simmer, stirring often until thickened, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the cayenne pepper, salt, olive oil and pepper. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the polenta into the pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Let cool. (After it is no longer warm to the touch, I put it in the refrigerator from about 15 minutes).

Polenta Croutons

Preheat oven to 450 Degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove polenta from refrigerator and cut into small squares. Place the squares on the parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes. Using tongs, flip the polenta and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until polenta is crisp and evenly brown on all sides. 

Polenta Croutons

Once the polenta croutons are ready, grab a bowl and put in desired amounts of kale, eggs, and dressing. Mix well and plate the salad. Add tomato, avocado, cheese and croutons!

Kale Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons

Important Tips:

Make sure your polenta is really cool before cutting and baking it. 

Meal Ideas:

Add a piece of grilled chicken if you’re wanting to add some protein!


Homemade Grilled Polenta

Homemade Grilled Polenta

Polenta is something I have only eating in a restaurant. When I found a recipe for grilled polenta, I thought, “Why not give it a try?” Yes, I came across it in my Williams-Sonama Grilling cookbook that I got as part of a “Kitchen Library” set years ago. Anyway, it’s grilling season and I was in the mood to experiment. It was REALLY good, if I do say so myself!!

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 30 min.; Chill time – 1-2 hours;  Cook Time – 10 min.


3 cups water

1 tsp. salt

2 T. unsalted butter

3/4 c. polenta or yellow cornmeal

1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

olive oil

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Pie plate

Preparing Grilled Polenta:

Combine water, salt and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to boil. Gradually add the polenta or cornmeal, whisking constantly so it doesn’t lump. Lower the heat and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until quite thick, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese and cayenne pepper.

Line a 9 in. pie plate with plastic wrap letting it extend over the edges. Spread polenta evenly over the plastic wrap and smooth the top with a spoon. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least one hour.

Homemade Grilled Polenta

Prepare grill to medium heat. Invert pie plate to unmold the polenta on a cutting board. Peel off the plastic wrap. Cut the polenta into 6 pie shaped wedges. Brush each wedge lightly with oil. Arrange the polenta wedges on the grill. Grill, turning 2-3 times, until golden, about 10 minutes.

Homemade Grilled Polenta

Important Tips:

Make sure the polenta is firm before taking it out of the refrigerator or it will fall apart on the grill.

Meal Ideas:

Polenta is a great compliment to grilled chicken, steaks, or pork chops (especially when they have a sauce).

Impressive Denise! Homemade polenta for the grill! I think I would have just purchased the polenta ‘log’ in the refrigerated section of the grocery store 😉   -Melissa