Crispy Polenta Wedges with Olive Tapenade

>> Friday, February 20, 2015

Crispy Polenta Wedges with Olive Tapenade

This recipe is one I came up with while planning a special Valentine's Day dinner for Joe. I was serving the wedges alongside duck a l'orange, a rather heavy and a bit sweet main course. The olive tapenade had just a little tart bite and a lot of flavor.

I've said before that Joe does most of the cooking, but last weekend I wanted to make a special meal. I gave myself a couple of challenges. 1) I wanted to use up some of the things that had been lingering in our pantry and freezer. 2) I wanted to stretch myself by coming up with different dishes and very little guidance from other peoples' recipes. 3) I wanted to serve a 7-course dinner with minimal interruptions between courses - that meant I had to get an awful lot done ahead of time, while leaving some surprises for Joe.

The big reveal last Saturday morning was a great success with Joe. He was excited to dive into the day's cooking.

The tapenade-polenta recipe was a big standout in our minds, but we'll be posting all of them to let you decide. Joe used the rest of the tapenade on Fat Tuesday in his muffaletta sandwich. This is one of the best things you can add to your grinder or sub sandwich.You can also serve the crispy polenta in little squares, with the olive tapenade on top, as a appetizer.


1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

For the tapenade

1 cup green olives, pitted
1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp capers
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp anchovy paste
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Crispy Polenta Wedges with Olive Tapenade


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Slowly add the cornmeal, stirring constantly. Turn down the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Grease a round baking dish and spread the polenta evenly. 

Put the polenta in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until crispy on the edges. 

Meanwhile, put all tapenade ingredients into a food processor or blender. Process until a crumbly mixture. Let it stand at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Let the polenta cool slightly and cut into wedges. Top with the olive-tomato mixture before serving.

Serves 4 as a side dish; more as an appetizer.


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