Grilled Polenta

A wonderful, flavorful side dish to accompany grilled chicken or fish.


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 cup instant polenta
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling and brushing
  • Basil chiffonade or rosemary sprigs for garnish
  • 3/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese, optional



Lightly oil a 9-inch square glass or ceramic dish. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, garlic, rosemary and thyme. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Discard the rosemary, thyme, garlic and return the mixture to a boil. Gradually whisk in the polenta and simmer over low heat, whisking often, until very thick and no longer gritty, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the polenta into the baking dish. Let cool at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan boil the balsamic vinegar over moderately high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Light a grill. Carefully unmold the polenta and cut into eight wedges or rectangles. Brush all over with olive oil. Grill the polenta until it is lightly charred on the bottom, and releases easily. Grill about four minutes per side.

Arrange the grilled polenta on a platter and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar reduction as desired. Garnish platter with basil or rosemary.