A deliciously simple polenta bruschetta without ANY oil! So easy to make and incredibly tasty (and healthy) too.
Polenta is probably one of the most SIMPLE prepared foods you can buy if you are dabbling with a plant-based vegan diet. Most grocery stores will carry it, either in the refrigerated cooler where they keep the tofu OR in the pasta aisle with all the marinara sauces.
What in the heck is it?
Polenta is simply corn.....cornmeal to be exact, although ground a little courser than typical cornmeal. In fact, it's very similar to grits, although grits are made from WHITE corn (hominy), and polenta is made from yellow.
You can buy it one of two ways, in a bag as dry cornmeal (it will say POLENTA on the bag), or in a tube, where it is already cooked and ready to eat.
If you buy the dried polenta, you simply add it to boiling water and stir like crazy until it thickens, but the stuff in a tube is already precooked for you - all you have to do is heat it up. Some people fry it, and some cut it into fries and bake it.
And that's what we are going to do today, slice it up and bake it. And then top it with this delicious bruschetta.
Think of polenta like a type of cornbread..... only denser, chewier, and of course minus the bread.
Simple Polenta Bruschetta
To make this recipe, we will first need to remove the polenta from the tube's plastic lining. This is easy if you simply slice the tube in half because then you can squeeze it out. Try to keep the shape intact.
Then slice it into ½" rounds, or medallions as they are sometimes called. Place them on a silicone baking mat (silpat) or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400° F for about 30 minutes, or until they begin to brown - flipping them halfway.
Note: You can air fry them too using the same temperature. Just do NOT use parchment paper in your air fryer. Air fry them until they are slightly browned and crispy to the touch, shaking them or flipping them halfway.
Meanwhile - while the polenta is baking - let's make the bruschetta.
Technically, if you look up the definition of bruschetta (brew-sketta), it is actually grilled bread - not the tomatoey sauce many of us associate with the dish.
"Bruschetta is an antipasto from Italy consisting of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil and salt."
But for this recipe, we are going to make the tomato topping that "I" call bruschetta.
I used 3 Campari tomatoes simply because they taste better than anything else in the store at this time of the year. An equal amount of cherry tomatoes would work too. Chop them up into small pieces and add to a bowl.
Next, mince 3-4 cloves of garlic and stir that in too. I also like to add a little minced onion but that is totally up to you.
Next, finely chop a tablespoon or so of fresh basil and add that to the mix. I supposed dried basil MIGHT work in a pinch - but fresh is definitely better.
And feel free to adjust ANY of these amounts to your own individual taste.
Finally, drizzle 1-2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar over everything and mix well. Add a pinch or so of salt to taste and you have a VERY easy bruschetta - without ANY oil.
When your golden polenta medallions come out of the oven, top them with this sauce and enjoy a little slice of heaven.
Who knew something so easy could be so good .... AND healthy!
See you next timePrint
Simple Polenta Bruschetta
- Prep Time: 0 min
- Cook Time: 30 min
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4-5 Servings 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Oven, Air-Fryer
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegan
A deliciously simple polenta bruschetta without the oil! So easy to make and incredibly tasty (and healthy) too.
- 18-ounce tube polenta
- 3 ripe tomatoes
- 1-2 Tbs diced onion
- 3-4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 Tbs minced basil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 400° F
- Remove the polenta from the tube and cut off the ends
- Cut into ½" slices (about 9 of them) and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet
- Bake for 15 min then flip, and continue baking until golden brown
- Meanwhile, dice tomatoes and add to a bowl
- The remaining ingredients can be all adjusted to taste
- The amounts given were to my liking but you may want more garlic, no onion, less vinegar, no sodium, etc. Feel free to adjust!
- Remove polenta from oven and top with bruschetta
- Note: Polenta may be air-fried too, 400° F until golden brown
Keywords: polenta bruschetta
This was excellent. I'll definitely be making this more often.
I’m attending a WFPB potluck in a few weeks. Do you think these will hold up to bring? Thanks for the recipe.
Keep the bruschetta separate and chilled, keep the polenta wrapped and warm.... maybe it will be ok....
Delicious! I'm going to mention something, however, about your definition of grits etc that is not quite right. I grew up in South Carolina eating grits daily. Our family farm milled grits for local restaurants. Traditional polenta is made from flint corn, unlike most commercial polenta. It's a costlier variety of corn that is hard to find so commercial polenta is made from other cheaper varieties. Polenta can be white or yellow and the flavor varies slightly. Polenta made from flint corn is far more flavorful than anything from a tube or even prepared from a bag of Bobs Red Mill. That said, I do pick up a tube every now and then for convenience. Grits can be white, yellow, blue, or red depending on the corn they come from. White grits does not mean hominy grits, those are something different. Hominy grits are simply grits made from hominy corn which is corn that is nixtamalized. Hominy corn can be white or yellow. White is less sweet than yellow so it's preferred for certain things. Hopefully, this is helpful for anyone out there who's a grits nerd like me.
Very good! Thank you for a wonderfully simple but yummy recipe!
Good idea! Thanks! All I ever make are the fries and everyone loves them. I will try this 😋