Barbecue Poltena

Polenta can be really boring, but this recipe puts an interesting spin on things.  It’s a great barbecue accompaniment, and can be prepared well in advance and just finished on the BBQ or on a griddle pan

Serves: 4-8


  • 350g Polenta or fine/medium ground cornmeal
  • Water
  • 2 dried red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 * 325g tin Sweetcorn, drained
  • 75g Parmesan, grated
  • 1 small red onion, or 3 spring onions, finely chopped


  • Add the dried chilli to a large pan and make up the polenta with the chilli according to the instructions on the cornmeal.  This should involve putting the cornmeal in a pan with a specific amount of seasoned water, bring to the boil and stir well to remove any lumps and cooking gently for several minutes without the polenta sticking to the pan and burning. I find a balloon whisk is the best tool for this.
  • Stir the sweetcorn, onion, cheese, salt & pepper through the polenta and pour into a baking tray (about 30cm square).  If your tray isn’t non-stick, line it first with greaseproof paper
  • Spread the polenta evenly across the tray, then lay another piece of greaseproof paper across the top.  The polenta needs to be compressed, so cover with something solid (a small chopping board, a plate, a square of cardboard), then place some weight on top of this (scale weights, tins, cans of beer – whatever you have)
  • Refrigerate until required – but at least 2 hours
  • Remove from the baking tray and cut into portions.  Before serving, place the portions either on the barbecue or on a griddle pan to warm through slightly and char
  • x

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