Grilled polenta with caramelized peaches is a fun dessert surprise

Sep 22, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. ET

What I learned about polenta in the north of Italy changed the way I looked at this yellow cornmeal forever.

I always spend my summers in the Dolomite Mountains (the northern part of Italy that shares its border with Austria) after my husband started taking me there. He himself had been going there ever since he was a child. Aside from the Alps that are overwhelmingly beautiful, one other thing I love about the place is the food.

Polenta is eaten with almost everything, and I love it. Once, when I was trying to decide which kind (apparently there are a lot) I was going to buy, the baker asked me what I was going to use it for. If I was going to make a cake, then there's a kind that fits it well. I didn't hear her other words, because the word "cake" caught my attention. I didn't know polenta could be used for sweet cakes too. I immediately went back to our rented chalet and whipped up a cake. From then on, I saw polenta in a broader light. I wasn't limited to savory side dishes anymore. Desserts with polenta are very good, if you don't mind the coarser texture.

Grilled polenta with caramelized peaches recipe

Here is a recipe that's great to serve to guests and that will not disappoint in terms of flavor. This time I used the precooked brick to save time, because I grilled them on the griddle. This is such a quick and easy dessert that I know you will love it like I do.

Grilled polenta with caramelized peaches recipe

Yields 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound peaches, pitted, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons port wine or 2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
  • 1 pound precooked polenta roll or brick (use unsalted or with a low salt content)
  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the peaches. Add the sugar and the port wine or brandy, if using. Cook for 5 minutes or until the syrup starts to thicken. Set aside.
  2. Slice the polenta roll to 1/2-inch-thick discs or squares.
  3. On a dry griddle or barbecue grill over medium heat, grill both sides of the polenta until grill marks appear.
  4. Top each polenta with the peaches, and garnish with the mint.

More polenta recipes

Individual creamy polenta and mushroom ragu pots
Baked polenta-crusted chicken thighs

Chorizo ragu over creamy polenta

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