Polenta is such a staple in Italian cooking. I’ve always loved its corn flavor and awesome texture since I was little. When my Nana Lulu made polenta I was one happy granddaughter. This week I decided to put a really fun spin on the classic by turning it into handy little baked garlic herb polenta squares. It was really simple to make and so flavorful too!
I served the baked garlic herb polenta squares with ketchup for dipping, but marinara would have worked too. Oh my goodness, they really were a fun and yummy take on the classic. They were slightly crispy on the outside but really creamy on the inside for some fantastic texture. I loved having them on the side of our dinner as a satisfying side. I think my Nana Lulu would have loved these beauties, and I hope you all do too. Enjoy!! xoxo
- olive oil cooking spray as needed
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 cloves roasted garlic *see note
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup instant polenta
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 cup freshly grated asiago cheese
- ketchup or marinara for dipping
- Get out a medium saucepan and an 8 x 8 baking dish. Spray the baking dish with the cooking spray. Then combine the milk, chicken stock, roasted garlic and the herbs in the saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil over medium high heat. Whisk it a few times to stir it all together. Then slowly pour in the polenta while you continue to whisk. Keep whisking while the polenta cooks for about 3 minutes. Once it is cooked, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the sauce and asiago.
- Spread the mixture into a packed, even layer in the baking pan and refrigerate it uncovered for 30 minutes. This will make it firm and set for baking. When the 30 minutes is almost up, pre-heat the oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with more cooking spray. Take out the chilled tray of polenta and cut it into 12 squares. Remove them from the pan and transfer them to the baking sheet. Bake them for 20-25 minutes until they become slightly crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside. Serve immediately with marinara or ketchup for dipping!
*roast a head of garlic ahead of time. Pre-heat the oven to 375. Cut the top off of the garlic to expose the cloves and drizzle the top with olive oil. Sprinkle it with salt as well, then wrap it in foil. Roast it for an hour, then refrigerate it and use it as you need it!