~ A super-easy appetizer or side dish! Packaged polenta is grilled (or broiled), topped with creamy mozzarella, and heaped with balsamic tomatoes and basil. ~
This Recipe Is: • Vegetarian • Gluten Free •
Even though the official first day of summer isn’t for a few more days, Father’s Day always (always!) seems like summer. Mother’s Day is definitely spring, but Father’s Day is totally summer.
It just begs for games of wiffle ball and badminton. And grilling.
There must be a grill involved.
When we bought our current home (which is our forever home … because moving makes me nuts!), my husband made me a deal. I got to pick out the washer and dryer that I wanted, and he got to pick out the grill he wanted. Seemed fair enough to me!
And boy, does he love that grill. (And yes, I do love my washer and dryer … what little girl ever dreamed that she’d grow up to say that?!?!)
But he looooves that grill.
He likes to cook (and is really good at it!), but he excels at grilling.
Anytime I suggest something on the grill, my sweet hubby is so thrilled to make it. He jumps at the chance to try new recipes. No fear.
But let’s be honest here, friends. It’s Dad’s special day … does he really want to spend the day prepping a meal and sides? No way! And since we’re all being so honest here … you don’t really feel like doing that, either. Am I right?
So how about a super-easy, super-summery, super-delicious recipe? One that comes together in about 4.3478 minutes flat (a rough estimate). One that’s an amazing appetizer or side for any meal, or (as Shelley and I have already found!) can be a nice, light lunch. One that will WOW! anyone who tastes it. One that uses the grill, but only for a few minutes (because you need to keep your spot in the badminton game!).
Warm, lightly grilled polenta, topped with melty, creamy mozzarella, then sprinkled with sweet tomatoes in a delightful balsamic dressing with fresh basil. It’s totally amazing.
And should the rain come pouring down unexpectedly … no worries! These cheesy polenta bites are just as great prepared under the broiler as they are on the grill! (But sorry – the broiler’s not gonna help with your soggy badminton game.)
So if you’re entertaining this weekend, (or any weekend, for that matter!) be sure to whip this up. You’ll be the envy of your friends (who’ll never guess these schwanky little bites took just minutes). Plus, your husband won’t need to spend all day tending the grill, and everyone can have a fun game of wiffle ball with the fam … ’cause this polenta is absolutely a home run!
Looking for Some More Great Recipes to Grill Up for Dad? Check Out Our:
- Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Burgers
- Easy Homemade Grilled Pizza
- Tex-Mex Taco Burgers with Creamy Salsa Dressing
- Four-Ingredient Grilled Corn Salad with Nonfat Chili-Lime Dressing
- Plus, you can look like a total grilling pro with our The Secret to Prefect Shish Kabobs
- And for dessert? How about Grilled Tropical Fruit with Almond-Ricotta Sauce? Yum!
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/8 kosher salt
- 18-ounce tube refrigerated, prepared polenta
- 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into thinly sliced pieces
- Preheat your grill on medium heat.
- Combine tomatoes, basil, vinegar, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Using a sharp knife, cut polenta into 16 even rounds. The easiest way to do this is to cut the log of polenta evenly in half, then cut each half in half again, so you have four quarters. Cut each quarter in half and then cut those two rounds in half again, so you have 16 polenta rounds.
- Lay polenta out on a baking sheet or large tray and brush lightly with ½ teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle ⅛ teaspoon salt and 1/16 teaspoon black pepper lightly across the rounds. Flip the rounds, brush again with the remaining ½ teaspoon of olive oil, and sprinkle evenly with the remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt and 1/16 teaspoon pepper.
- Grill the rounds about 10-12 minutes on the first side. Once they begin to develop some light grill marks, flip them and grill for another 8-10 minutes.
- Turn grill to low and top each polenta round with some of the mozzarella. Close grill lid, and continue grilling for just a minute or two, until cheese has started to melt but isn't so melted that it's dripping off into the grill.
- Arrange cheesy polenta rounds on a serving platter and dollop each generously with balsamic tomato mixture. Alternately, you can pass the balsamic tomatoes separately and let everyone top their own.
Grilling: Remember that grills vary widely in temperature settings, so the settings and times you use may need to be adjusted according to your specific grill.
Alternate Broiling Instructions: You can also cook these polenta rounds indoors under the broiler. Simply preheat your broiler as needed. Then, once you've brushed both sides of the polenta rounds with oil and sprinkled them with salt and pepper, broil them for approximately 8-10 minutes on each side, flipping them when they begin to get a bit golden brown. Add mozzarella and finish by broiling for just another minute or two, until mozzarella begins to melt. Serve topped with balsamic tomatoes.