Juicy summer tomatoes and sliced zucchini top this easy, 30 min Baked Polenta. Finished with parmesan and fresh herbs – it’s like a slice of summer garden pie.
Baked polenta is like a big slice of pizza – just softer and creamier – comforting and easy to throw together. It’s a blank canvas for your favorite herbs and cheeses both mixed in and to top which makes it a versatile stand-by when you need something fresh and new for dinner.
It’s a dish made from corn grits – Italian corn grits to be exact.
Not the same as the Southern grits you can find in the South. It’s a different corn variety. It cooks pretty fast and as soon as it thickens up in the pot, you can season it with herbs and cheese, spread it in a rimmed baking sheet and top with vegetables and bake it to pizza pie perfection.
This recipe is topped with tomatoes which I marinate in olive oil, garlic and salt + pepper while the polenta thickens on the stove – it gives the baked polenta a bruschetta flavor. The polenta itself is mixed with dried basil, thyme and feta.
What else can you make with polenta?
Last summer I created this amazing peach salsa to top my polenta. It makes a great appetizer or light lunch option. Once it’s baked you can cut it into all shapes and sizes.
- 2 cups polenta
- 6.5 cups water
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- Olive oil
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 Tbs fresh thyme (optional)
- 1 cup feta or other cheese
- 1 tsp Kosher salt and pepper
- 2 medium slicing tomatoes (any tomatoes will work)
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced into ¼" thick round
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- 4 tsp minced garlic, divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Season with 1 tsp salt and SLOWLY sprinkle polenta into water while whisking. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer gently (a slow bubble should pop here and there), stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until polenta thickens - about 15 minutes.
- While the polenta is cooking, slice veggies. Place sliced tomatoes in bowl with 1 tbs olive oil, a dash of salt and pepper and 1 tsp minced garlic. Toss and set aside. Season zucchini slices with a few dashes of salt and pepper as well, set aside.
- Coat a 9 x 13 sheet pan with olive oil, set aside.
- Once polenta has thickened, mix in 3 tbs olive oil, 3 tsp minced garlic, dried basil, onion powder, fresh thyme (optional), salt to taste and feta or other cheese. Scoop onto 9 x 13 sheet pan and spread into an even layer.
- Top with tomato and zucchini slices,
- Top with parmesan cheese, a couple grinds of salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Bake 350 for 15 min. or until zucchini is tender. Add more parmesan and herbs, if desired and serve.
- Wait 5 minutes to cool before cutting.