Grilled Polenta with Tomato Relish

It is still February and cold here in NE Ohio but already I’m starting to get spring fever!  I can hardly wait to start my garden and taste fresh hand-picked tomatoes.  This is a summer inspired side, but it is still good in the winter, especially when you’re feeling a case of spring fever coming on.  Go ahead ….pretend it’s summer.  Enjoy!


  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • 1tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 small red tomatoes, cut into wedges and seeded
  • 3 small green tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tequila or orange juice
  • 1 – 3 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 1teaspoon chili powder
  • Olive oil


1.Line a 9-inch round baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges. Grease foil; set aside. In a medium saucepan bring the 1-2/3 cups water, butter, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boiling.

2. Meanwhile, in small bowl stir together cornmeal, 1 cup cold water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Slowly add moistened cornmeal mixture to boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook and stir just until mixture returns to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cook, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture is very thick, stirring occasionally. Evenly spread the cornmeal mixture in prepared pan. Cool; refrigerate, covered, for 3 to 24 hours.

3. For the Tomato Relish: In a large bowl combine the red tomatoes, green tomatoes, 1 tablespoon olive oil, tequila, 1 to 3 teaspoons brown sugar, and chili powder. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

4. Using foil lift cornmeal mixture from pan and gently cut into 8 wedges. Generously brush wedges with additional olive oil and grill directly over medium-hot coals for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden, turning as needed to brown evenly. (To prepare indoors, in a 12-inch skillet heat wedges in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden, turning occasionally.)

5. To serve, layer 2 grilled polenta wedges with tomato mixture on each plate. Spoon any of the Tomato Relish mixture over all. Makes 4 side-dish servings.


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