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Grilled polenta with tomato-mango salad is what summer meals are all about

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

For a dish that screams summer, serve grilled polenta topped with a seasonal salad

Meals get a little lighter when the warm-weather months are here. This dish makes a great appetizer or light meal served with fresh veggies on the side. Take your pick of when to serve this delicious polenta dish.

Polenta might seem like a wintry dish, but not this version. Since we're firing up our grills so much during the summer season, try this polenta appetizer in grilled format. It's perfect as a side dish or light meal.

For a dish that screams summer, serve grilled polenta topped with a seasonal salad

I used prepackaged polenta that you'll find in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. It comes in a round tube, which makes things easy to prepare. You can make polenta from scratch, but you'll have to give it time to chill after cooking it before grilling. Try this recipe if you'd like to make your own polenta.

The tomato-mango salad on top is spicy and delicious. You can personalize this to keep things a little less spicy or to include your favorite veggies.

For a dish that screams summer, serve grilled polenta topped with a seasonal salad

Grilled polenta with tomato-mango salad recipe

Grilled polenta makes a fun appetizer that doesn't take much effort or time. It's also fabulous to serve as a lunch dish or as part of a light dinner. Using prepackaged polenta frees up your prep time.

Serves 4-6

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10-14 minutes | Total time: 20-24 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (24 ounce) package prepared, refrigerated polenta (in a round tube)
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeds and membrane removed, diced small
  • 4 ounces diced mango
  • 2 green onions, ends trimmed, cut small
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried chipotle pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, torn, plus extra for garnish

Directions:

  1. Cut the polenta into 1/2-inch rounds. Brush both sides with the olive oil, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Set aside.
  2. Combine the tomato, jalapeño, mango, green onion, lime juice, remaining salt, black pepper, chipotle pepper and torn cilantro. Mix thoroughly. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Lightly brush a grill pan with the remaining olive oil. Place it over medium-high heat.
  4. When the pan is hot, add the polenta rounds, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side or until dark grill marks appear.
  5. Remove from the grill, and serve warm or at room temperature with the tomato salad on top.

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