I usually serve polenta as a side dish or as part of an entrée. Looking for a new party appetizer, I turned to this quick and easy polenta dish.
So what is polenta? It is a cornmeal mush or porridge that originated in Northern Italy as a peasant food. Though most typically made with coarse yellow cornmeal, polenta can also be made from finely ground yellow or white cornmeal. For this appetizer, I like to use a prepared polenta that can be found in most grocery stores.
One 16-ounce log of prepared polenta (room temperature)
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup finely chopped arugula
2 tablespoons pitted green olives (chopped fine)
Salt and fresh ground pepper
3 radishes (sliced thin)
Trim the polenta’s rounded edges to create a rectangle. Cut in half lengthwise. Spread the panko crumbs on a plate. Press both sides of the rectangle in the crumbs to coat. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil on medium-high heat. Cook the polenta until crispy, about 3 – 4 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil with the lemon juice, arugula and olives. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Set aside.
Cut the polenta into 16 pieces. Top each with arugula mixture and sliced radishes.