Polenta Cakes with Stir Fried Spring Vegetables
Polenta Cakes with Stir-Fried Spring Vegetables
Prep Time
14 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
54 mins

These delicious Polenta Cakes with Stir-Fried Spring Vegetables are the perfect recipe for entertaining!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: fried polenta, pan fried polenta, pan fried polenta cakes, polenta cakes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Ginnie
For Polenta:
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 3/4 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
For Vegetables:
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced crosswise*
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and sliced (reserve fronds for serving)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 pound snow peas
  • 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends removed, sliced into 2 to 3-inch lengths
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, or small cherry tomatoes
  • 3-4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • handful sliced basil, plus more for serving
  • 1 lemon, cut in half, then cut one half into quarters
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
Prepare Polenta:
  1. Lightly oil a 9x13-inch baking pan. Set aside.
  2. Bring broth to a boil in a large pot or dutch oven. Slowly whisk cornmeal into broth.

  3. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
  4. Cook, stirring frequently, until polenta is thick and creamy (about 25 to 30 minutes).
  5. Turn off heat, then stir in Parmesan, butter, and salt.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning with extra salt, if desired.
  7. Spread polenta in an even layer in the baking pan. Refrigerate polenta until cooled and firm, about 2 to 3 hours.

  8. Slice polenta into 12 squares.
  9. About 10 minutes before serving (shortly after you begin stir-frying the veggies), heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  10. Cook polenta squares in oil until browned, then flip and brown the other side. Set aside until ready to use.
Prepare Vegetables:
  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a wok until hot.
  2. Add onion, carrots, bell pepper, fennel, salt, and crushed red pepper to oil. Cook until veggies begin to soften, tossing wok often.

  3. Add snow peas and asparagus to work. Stir-fry veggies, tossing often, until they start to brown.

  4. Mix in tomatoes cook until they begin to burst, tossing often.
  5. Add garlic to wok and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly.
  6. Toss in a handful of sliced basil and cook for a few seconds or until wilted.
  7. Remove veggies from heat, then squeeze juice from half a lemon over pan. Mix lemon into veggies, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

  8. To serve, place 3 pieces of fried polenta on each plate. Top polenta with veggies.

  9. Sprinkle veggies with additional basil, chopped fennel fronds, and crumbled goat cheese.
  10. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Turn this dish into an appetizer, by serving it in smaller portions (one polenta square per person).

*To slice an onion crosswise, start by cutting it in half through the root end. Then, slice onion in half horizontally, stopping just before the root. Thinly sliced the onion from the top to the root end, then slice off the root and discard.