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Crispy Polenta Stacks

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Crispy Polenta Stacks are one of my favorite polenta appetizer recipes. I top these rustic polenta stacks with a rosemary infused whipped ricotta and some roasted cherry tomatoes. This appetizer is always a hit with guests and a sure way to brighten up any holiday spread.

Crispy Polenta Stacks with ricotta.

CRISPY POLENTA STACKS

My Mediterranean polenta stacks can be prepared in 10 minutes.

These are so delicious and so comforting. 

After roasting the polenta in the oven top with the whipped ricotta and roasted tomatoes.

Finish the dish with a garnish of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and micro-greens for a burst of freshness.

This recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free. It is suitable for celiacs or anyone following a gluten-free diet.

These Crispy Polenta Stacks are adaptable and you can make them smaller to be an appetizer or larger to be a main dish. 

Polenta stacks are ideal for the holiday table, or any time you have family and friends over for dinner. If you prefer more of a traditional polenta try this Creamy Polenta Recipe.

Crispy Polenta Stacks ingredients.

WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED TO MAKE CRISPY POLENTA STACKS?

POLENTA: I use one tube of ready prepared polenta, which I cut into 1” thick rounds (if you want to prepare your own see instructions below). 

TOMATOES: I use a 12 ounce pack of cherry tomatoes and leave them whole for roasting.

SEASONING: I season the polenta stacks with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Some extra flaking sea salt is sprinkled over the top just before serving.

CHEESE: The polenta stacks are topped with both a whipped ricotta cheese and finished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

OIL: I use extra virgin olive oil in this recipe as it has a great fruity flavor.

FRESH HERBS: I always use freshly minced rosemary in this recipe as it has the best flavor. You can substitute with dried rosemary if you can’t find fresh.

GARNISH: I like to finish these crispy polenta stacks with a scattering of microgreens. This is entirely optional.

Crispy Polenta Stacks with tomatoes.

HOW DO YOU MAKE FIRM POLENTA?

I have used a package tube of ready prepared polenta to make the process quick and easy.

However, if you can’t find any ready prepared firm polenta, I suggest buying a package of polenta.

Follow the instructions on the packaging for making firm polenta and you will end with the same end product.

Just stir the pot until the polenta has thickened, then allow to cool completely and firm up, before you cut to size.

Crispy Polenta Stacks with fork.

HOW TO MAKE CRISPY POLENTA STACKS:

PREPARE THE POLENTA. Start by preheating the oven to 425°F. Then place the polenta rounds and tomatoes onto a baking sheet and drizzle over 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Next sprinkle over a teaspoon of freshly chopped rosemary and season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. 

Crispy Polenta Stacks polenta in a bowl.

COOK THE POLENTA: Now transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast the polenta and tomatoes, flipping the polenta halfway through. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the polenta is crispy and the tomatoes are soft. 

Crispy Polenta Stacks on a baking sheet.

PREPARE THE WHIPPED RICOTTA: While the polenta and tomatoes bake, make the whipped ricotta. Start by combining the ricotta, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 2 teaspoons of rosemary in a large bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip the ricotta until light and fluffy. 

Crispy Polenta Stacks cooked polenta.

TO SERVE: When ready to serve, place the crispy polenta onto a place and top with the whipped ricotta and cherry tomatoes. Garnish with some freshly grated Parmesan and season with flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Top with microgreens if desired and serve immediately. 

Crispy Polenta Stacks with fork on a plate.

CRISPY POLENTA STACKS FLAVOR VARIATIONS:

This recipe is versatile and easily adapted to suit your own tastes. Here are some suggestions for mixing up the flavors:

  • Swap the whipped ricotta with soft whipped goats cheese or a cream cheese like Philadelphia.
  • Flavor the whipped ricotta with other fresh herbs like thyme, basil, parley or tarragon.
  • Add other roasted veggies to the stack, try mushrooms; bell peppers; zucchini or eggplant.
  • Saute some leafy greens like kale or spinach with garlic and add to the stack.
  • Drizzle over some balsamic vinegar just before serving.

Crispy Polenta Stacks tomatoes.

RECIPE HINTS & TIPS:

  • A hand mixer makes light work of whipping the ricotta to a light and fluffy texture. However, if you don’t have one a regular balloon whisk will work just fine.
  • This recipe can be doubled up if you are feeding a crowd.
  • Leftover roasted polenta can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When when ready to enjoy, reheat the polenta in a hot oven until warmed through. Worth noting the polenta will store best if not topped with the whisked ricotta and roasted tomatoes which will only soften the polenta.

Crispy Polenta Stacks with logo.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE THESE EASY APPETIZERS:

HONEY GOAT CHEESE BALLS

BABA GHANOUSH 

CUCUMBER HUMMUS BITES

ROASTED TOMATO GOAT CHEESE DIP

MEDITERRANEAN ANTIPASTO SKEWERS

WARM PEAR BRIE ARUGULA NAAN

Crispy Polenta Stacks

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 -18-ounce packaged tube prepared polenta, cut into 1” thick rounds
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8 ounces ricotta (dairy-free if desired, we used Kite Hill)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced and divided
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Flaky sea salt, for topping
  • Microgreens, optional for topping

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
    2. Place the polenta rounds and tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of rosemary and ½ teaspoon sea salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
    3. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, flipping the polenta halfway through, and until the polenta is crispy and the tomatoes are soft.
    4. While the polenta and tomatoes bake, make the whipped ricotta by combining the ricotta, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 2 teaspoons rosemary in a large bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip the ricotta until light and fluffy.
    5. To plate, top the polenta with the ricotta and cherry tomatoes.
    6. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan and season with flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Top with microgreens if desired. Serve immediately.

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