Griddled Polenta Cakes with Caramelized Onions, Ricotta Cheese, and Honey




Recipe courtesy of Chef Liz Alexanian, Cook LA


For the Polenta:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 cup polenta (corn grits or corn meal)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  For the Topping:
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 brown Maui or Vidalia onion, halved and sliced in ¼ inch thickness
  • 2 ounces ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • Honey or Agave Syrup, to drizzle
  • Pomegranate seeds for garnish


  1. Put your 9x9 baking dish in the freezer. This will help the polenta set once poured into the pan to cool off.
  2. Bring the water, milk and salt to a boil. Slowly whisk in the polenta.
  3. Turn heat to low, and continue whisking for 5 minutes, or until polenta is smooth and creamy. Spread the polenta in a 9x9 baking dish, and refrigerate to cool and harden.
  4. While the polenta is setting up, add the butter and olive oil to a heavy-bottomed skillet on medium-low heat.
  5. Add the sliced onions and a sprinkle of kosher salt and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, golden and caramelized, about 20-25 minutes.
  6. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the cooked onions.
  7. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into another skillet, set over medium heat.
  8. From the firm, cooled polenta, cut out 3x3 squares and place in heated skillet. Or use a 3" round cookie cutter to cut out circles of the firm polenta, and place in the heated skillet.
  9. Cook until slightly browned and crusty on one side, about 2 minutes, then flip and cook the other side, about 2 more minutes.
  10. To assemble the polenta cakes, place each piece of browned polenta on a plate, add one teaspoon ricotta, top with caramelized onions and drizzle with honey.  Sprinkle pomegranate seeds on top for added color.


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