Polenta, in my opinion is absolutely under used. Polenta is simply an Italian cornmeal dish. It can be made creamy, like this Chicken Meatball Marsala over Creamy Polenta or as I did here where it is baked after a quick cook on the stovetop. These Polenta Squares with Ricotta & Basil Pesto have a little bit of everything. The polenta squares are creamy on the inside with a slightly crunchy exterior topped with creamy ricotta and fresh garlicky basil pesto. Whether serving these as an hors d’oeuvre or a side dish, these will be a hit!
Quick cooking polenta can be found right in your regular grocery store and it is so simple to make! Simply bring vegetable broth or water seasoned with salt and pepper up to a boil, whisk in the polenta until smooth. Shut the heat, stir an additional couple minutes then pour evenly onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Pop into the fridge to allow the polenta to set, about 20-30 minutes. Once completely cooled you can easily cut into squares. Baked until just slightly golden and crisp.
The ricotta is just lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. The pesto, oh my! I’ve got a big ole pot of basil growing out back and love making pesto! Its great in a sandwich, as a pasta sauce, over a chicken cutlet or on a crostini. So many uses, all delicious! While basil is in season locally, use it, nothing like fresh basil!