Grilled Polenta with Shiitakes, Onions & Gorgonzola

Grilled Polenta with Shiitakes, Onions & Gorgonzola

I’m always on the hunt for easy, delicious appetizers that can be made in advance. Not really because I’m constantly throwing dinner parties or catering events. Mostly, because I love to eat tapas-style. Lots of little dishes, snacks and treats. Lots different flavors. Lots of sips of wine. Our dinner Saturday night consisted of: Truffle Pate, Gruyere cheese with jam and crackers, garlic-marinated fresh anchovies (boquerones), these polenta rounds and a nice bottle of Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Merlot. (We visited this vineyard in Chile – wonderful!)

Grilled Polenta with Shiitakes, Onions & Gorgonzola

Though everything was great, these polenta rounds really stole the show. I cheated and used the polenta in a tube to save some time, but brushed it with olive oil and grilled to get those nice char lines and enhance their flavor. On top went red onions and shiitake mushrooms that I sauteed in butter and Gorgonzola cheese. Ran them under the broiler for a few minutes, then drizzled with balsamic syrup. They were just incredible. The mushrooms were almost meaty, the onions sweet, the cheese sufficiently funky and the balsamic syrupy and tart. A very successful appetizer and definitely a keeper.

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13 Comments

  1. I want this for lunch today, immediately, right now. Looks so delicious!

  2. I love piling things onto polenta and then eating the rounds like mini-pizzas. This combination of ingredients looks absolutely delicious!

  3. Mel – These look really great….what did you think about using the polenta in a tube? I’ve tried making a few bites like this in the past, but struggle to make polenta that really holds together when being pan-fried. Perhaps the polenta log is the answer?

  4. Thanks guys!

    Oui, Chef – I know what you mean. Homemade polenta does have a tendency to fall apart at times, especially when you grill it. Some solutions are to add shredded mozzerella, which will help it keep its shape, or the polenta log.

    I’m actually a big fan of the log if you’re going to grill or pan fry it. Very handy for stuff like that, though I’d never try to “re-soften” it into the creamy kind.

  5. Oh Mel! I love the addition of gorgonzola to this! Quite wonderful.

  6. Well I made this for a little dinner party last night, and it was excellent! I cheated even more and bought the balsamic vinegar glaze (plus the ready-made polenta), but it was still delicious. Will definitely make again, thanks Camero! :)

  7. This was not my favorite! I borrow recipes from you all the time, and usually they are fantastic. This one I was not a fan of though. Something about the flavors didn’t really work for me (or my husband) all together. Your meals are still near perfect though so I remain devoted.

  8. Thank you for this recipe. I’ll make it for my fiancé tonight. And also thanks for the hint about the polenta tube. I was about to soften it but decided against it based on your post.

    bon appetit.

  9. This is such a gorgeous dish. Totally something you would find in Italy.
    Buona!

  10. Shiitake seems like an odd mushroom to use in a non-Asian dish. Could you substitute it with portabella for similarly delicious results?

  11. Ava – Sure you can! I used shiitake because it’s what I had on hand :)

  12. I cannot believe that it has taken me so many years to find your absolutely fantastic blog. What incredible recipes and superb photography! I’m now signed up to follow your RSS feed. This polenta recipe is simply to die-for….my Italian family just loves polenta!!!

  13. I found your site through The Kitchn. I love the idea behind this dish, as the trio of mushrooms, onions, and cheese is one of my favorites. Thanks for the inspiration!

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