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Grilled Italian Style Polenta

Updated on February 4, 2014

Grilling With Fire!

It's time to start playing with fire! "BBQ Grilling Fire" that is!
It's time to start playing with fire! "BBQ Grilling Fire" that is! | Source

This easy to follow smokey good "BBQ Grilled Italian Style Polenta Recipe" is going to stun your family and friends! The grilling tips make the process simple, while delivering outstanding grilled polenta. You will begin by mixing up a simple thick and creamy polenta delicacy (Italian ground cornmeal). While the polenta chills out in the refrigerator, you will gather-up a few scallions (sweet lovely green onions) and toss them on the grill. Once you have the polenta cut in those beautiful triangle shapes (you'll find a really easy to follow pictorial for this) they get to hop onto the grill to take their turn. To wrap this easy recipe up, the smokey sweet and tangy "Grilled Italian Style Polenta" get lined up on an irresistible serving platter for your family and friends to fight over! Time to get started making the best grilled polenta dish you will ever create!

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Make Coarse Cornmeal into Smooth Polenta

If you only have the kind of cornmeal for making cornbread or Mexican style masa, don't panic. Take this course cornmeal and grind it down to a smooth consistency in a coffee grinder or spice grinder and use as you would fine cornmeal. (Use a coffee grinder that's dedicated to spice grinding only; never use one that has ground coffee beans before.)

Gathering Ingredience for 16 Easy Pieces of Grilled Polenta

Makes 16 Beautiful Triangular "Griiled Italian Style Polenta" Pieces

  • 2 TBL spoons of honey (local if you can find it)
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 TBL kosher salt
  • 1 cup instant polenta -or- fine cornmeal
  • 16 scallions, trimmed
  • 5 TBL extra-virgin olive oil
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces of robiola, at room temp
  • 1 tsp sweet pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)


Bonus Polenta Tip!
Bonus Polenta Tip! | Source

Grilled Italian Polenta "bonus Tips!"

TIP 1). I often take about 1" of the green tips off of the scallions and finely dice them. I then add these tiny flavor-packed snippets into the polenta as it cooks. It adds another layer of flavor throughout the finished BBQ grilled polenta dish.

TIP 2). Try adding a squeeze of lemon to the olive oil before you brush it on the surface of the polenta triangles for grilling. It adds some "zingy" acid flavor to the sweetness of the polenta. With the creamy cheese and grilled scallions, a little extra lemon flavor helps the finish on the pallet! Be sure too mix the oil and lemon juice together thoroughly!

Polenta Recipe Tips

Grilled Italian Style Polenta Recipe pointers.
Grilled Italian Style Polenta Recipe pointers. | Source

Preparing the Polenta Before Grilling

Bring 3 cups of water (you can substitute chicken stock or broth for the water, this adds another layer of rich flavor to the dish) to a boil in a large pan. Stir in the honey, thyme, and measured salt. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in the polenta in a thin steady stream, then cook, whisking, until the polenta thickens enough so you can see the bottom of the pan as you whisk—about 3 to 5 minutes for instant polenta, a little bit longer for the cornmeal.

Immediately pour the cooked polenta into an ungreased 9"X13" baking pan. Spread the polenta evenly with an off-set spatula or with the back of a wooden spoon. I usually place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the warm polenta then press on the paper with the bottom of a second pan to get the surface smooth. (You have to work quickly at this, once the polenta gets too cool, you won't be able to get a smooth surface anymore.)

Let it cool, then place the cooked polenta in the refrigerator for 40 minutes, or until set. (You can make the polenta ahead by several days before grilling it, as long as you keep it safely covered and refrigerated.)

How to Cut Triangle Shaped Polenta

Cutting the chilled and formed Polenta into triangle shapes is easy. Just follow these simple tips for Grilled Polenta!
Cutting the chilled and formed Polenta into triangle shapes is easy. Just follow these simple tips for Grilled Polenta! | Source

Time to Get BBQ Grilling Italian Style Polenta!

Preheat your Gas Grill or Light Your Charcoal Grill

  • Place the scallions over the hottest spot on the grill, cooking them until they wilt and get a little charred on the first side—4 to 6 minutes. Flip the scallions over and grill the second side until it too has a mild char—3 to 5 minutes. Remove to a platter and set aside for later use.
  • Flip out the chilled polenta onto a clean cutting board. (If you used cornmeal you will more than likely have to run a blunt knife along the sides of the pan to release the polenta.) Cut the slab into 8 equal rectangles, then cut each rectangle into 2 triangles. (See diagram)

  • Brush the triangles of polenta on both sides with 3 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil and place each piece on the hottest part of the grill. Cook until grill marks form on the first side—3 to 4 minutes, allow the polenta triangle to cook until dark char marks become visible. Repeat on the other side, then remove the smokey good polenta pieces to a large platter.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the grilled scallions, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then add the lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toppings for "BBQ Grilled Italian Style Polenta" With Class

Spread 1Robiola on each Italian Grilled polenta triangle, one tablespoon should do the job. Mound it up slightly so you can decoratively coil a grilled scallion on top of each triangle. Sprinkle the smokey Pimentón over the top of each piece of grilled polenta. If you have a little bit of the lemon marinade left over from the scallions, you may want to drizzle a drop or two over the robiola topped Polenta triangles; serve warm or at room temperature.

1Robiola: Considered Northern Italy's best cheese, robiola is a soft, creamy cheese that tastes of shaded deep green and lush herb-filled hillsides. It has a perfume that, generally, only true cheese aficionados may appreciate; something similar in aroma to strong musky humid-mildew, and sweet jasmine. Try shopping for robiola (without the rind) at cheese shops, Italian markets, or on the international (Italian) food/cheese isle at the local grocery store or high-end market. You can even find robiola online; I have placed an easy to shop for link at right for your convenience.

If you are unable to find robiola, feel free to substitute another creamy cheese—or even Boursin® (a high-quality cream cheese-like and flavored cheese).

Wrapping up "Recipe Tips for BBQ Grilled Italian Style Polenta"

This delightfully Italian grilled polenta recipe can accompany a myriad of main dishes. Fish, veal, lamb, pork, and even grilled vegetables, each playing very well with the easy and charming grilled Italian style polenta flavors. Try this recipe as a starter or as a side. Your family and friends will cheer on your brilliant BBQ Grill Master greatness. Just don't forget to tuck in your Grill Master cape before sparking-up the BBQ fire!

Finished Grilled Polenta with Scallions

Grilled Italian Style Polenta is a great starter dish, side dish, and even a great vegetarian main course!
Grilled Italian Style Polenta is a great starter dish, side dish, and even a great vegetarian main course! | Source

Comments for "Recipe Tips for BBQ Grilled Italian Style Polenta"

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  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    8 years ago from Northern, California

    ChatKath~ Your comments once again have me blushing-- thank you so much for the warm response. I hope you get a chance to make this wonderful polenta recipe for yourself my friend, it's very yummy! I would be happy to whip up a batch for you, but I'm not sure they would still be warm by the time I made the hop over the pond! I so appreciate you stopping by today~

    I hope your weekend is remarkable! Cheers!


  • Chatkath profile image


    8 years ago from California

    Amazing hub and recipe K9 - I love the layout, graphics, content, the entire package is excellent. I was so blown away with the visual that I almost overlooked the grilled polenta, I am getting hungry just thinking about it!

    I never would have thought to do this on my own so I am grateful that you put together so nicely.

    Rated up and awesome!

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    8 years ago from Northern, California

    Mrs. Menagerie~ Glad to be the one who reminded you about Polenta! Thank you for the warm comments!


  • Mrs. Menagerie profile image

    Mrs. Menagerie 

    8 years ago from The Zoo

    I just LOVE polenta but I'm always forgetting about it. Glad you reminded me. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    8 years ago from Northern, California

    Susan~ if you like sweet cornbread you will love creamy smokey grilled polenta! Thank you for making it over to read this hub today. I appreciate the support greatly!

    ~Keep on Grillin' everyone!~


  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    8 years ago from Northern, California

    EarthAngel~ I am so flattered by your remarks regarding the hub quality...blushing a little. I hope you do find the time to whip up a batch of polenta for your polenta loving friends!

    I had a blast making this hub, the biggest frustration was with spell check. It kept wanting me to change "polenta" to "Polecat" in every text capsule! After a while, I just had to laugh thinking to myself, "BBQ Grilled Polecat doesn't sound nearly as good!" ;}

    Thanks for making it by today!


  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    8 years ago from Northern, California

    Simone~ You are too kind my friend. But I am overjoyed that you are contemplating taking these easy recipe steps to create your own grilled polenta! I'm certain you will be glad that you did. Thank you for the comments today, they mean the world.


  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    8 years ago from Northern, California

    Minnetonka Twin~ Hi MT! Thrilled you stopped by, and btw--I was truly moved by your "cancer free" hub! I hope you get a chance to try this recipe, it is sooo smokey good!

    Thank you for your support.


  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    8 years ago from Northern, California

    Reprieve26~ Thanks for the comments. I hope you really enjoy your grilled polenta!


  • Reprieve26 profile image

    HS Contino 

    8 years ago from Oregon Coast

    Sounds good! I'm going to have to try this!

    Voted up and useful! :)

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 

    8 years ago from Minnesota

    This sounds so good. I've never had this before. Thanks for sharing K9 :-)

  • Simone Smith profile image

    Simone Haruko Smith 

    8 years ago from San Francisco

    K9keystrokes, this is AWESOME!! I've never thought to grill polenta before, but it would be absolutely divine like that- all crispy and smokey on the outside, deliciously moist in the center.... yum!!

    Though I'd typically find the process to be too daunting to do on my own, you've outlined it so nicely here that I think I might actually be able to do this. Hurrah! Great Hub!

  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 

    8 years ago

    Wow! K9keystrokes you have taken Hubbing to a whole new level!

    The recipe is fantastic and I will try it soon! Some dear friends are returning home from a long trip and they LIVE on polenta! I will surprise them! Thank you!

    It's your illustrations, photos, tutorials and combinations that blow me away! Wow! I am soooooooo impressed! Thank you for raising the bar once again!

    Blessings always, Earth Angel!

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 

    8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    I have never had Polenta and I am always looking for new things to try.


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