Polenta Rounds with warm Goat Cheese Recipe

Polenta Rounds with warm Goat Cheese

Crostini di Polenta al Formaggio di Capra, a tasty little dish we once had as a first course in a restaurant in Poggibonsi south of Florence. The mild flavors of the Polenta contrast with the roasted peppers and the piquant taste of the slightly molten goat cheese. I like the recipe, albeit it creates a bit of work.

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 60 minutes plus Polenta cooling time (about 2 hours)


  • 1 small green pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 1 small red pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 1 small yellow pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup (125 g) polenta
  • 2 1/2 cup (590 ml) water
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 soft goat cheese log, about 6 oz (170 g) cut into 3/8-inch (1 cm) thick rounds
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil for frying
  • salad greens to serve


Start by mixing the balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil into a marinade. Put it into a bowl and add the green, red and yellow pepper quarters. Give it a stir and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes. Set aside.

In the meantime make the polenta. Bring the 2 1/2 cups (590 ml) water to a boil. Add polenta by the stream, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Bring to a rapid boil. Lower the heat to a bare simmering. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring at all times making sure that polenta does not burn or sticks too much to the bottom of the pot. Add the 2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese and give it a good stir. Taste for salt.

Slightly oil a square tray or dish and spread the polenta about 3/8 inch (1 cm) thick. Smooth the polenta top with a spatula wet in cold water. Let it cool for at least 2 hours or better overnight.

Preheat the oven grill for 10 minutes. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Remove peppers from the marinade and save it – you will need a bit of the marinade at the very end. Lay pepper quarters side by side on the baking tray. Grill peppers until their skins are covered with black specks and look charred, about 10 minutes. Remove peppers from the oven by lifting the aluminum foil from the baking tray. Fold it into a package with the peppers inside. The peppers will “sweat” inside the package until they are cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Pulling the skin off will be much easier and less messy this way. Cut the grilled peppers into 3/8 inch (1 cm) strips and set them aside on a paper towel.

When the polenta is cold and firm, cut rounds out of the polenta using a 2 1/2 inch (6 cm) cookie cutter. You may also cut squares out of the polenta if you prefer. Warm 2 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan and fry the polenta rounds or squares until they are golden and crusty, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Add more olive oil if necessary and continue frying. Let polenta rounds cool on paper towels.


Preheat the oven grill for 10 minutes. Arrange the polenta rounds or squares on a baking tray. Garnish each round with strips of roasted pepper, about 3 to 4 strips per round. Top each with a slice of goat cheese. Put polenta rounds or squares under the grill and under watchful eyes let the goat cheese melt, about 3-4 minutes. Remove polenta from oven and drizzle it with the set aside balsamico-olive oil marinade. Serve it as an appetizer or with a green salad as a light lunch.

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