These polenta bites are a fun and easy summer appetizer! Creamy polenta is allowed to cool and then baked until crispy. It is then cut into bite-sized squares and topped with a spicy blueberry jalapeno corn relish.
Brutally Honest Truth:
If I invite you over for food it’s prroooobbabbbllyyy so I can try out a new appetizer recipe.
And maybe I like you.
(But mostly, I just really like appetizers.)
Look, when you have a family of two and a half, there is just no opportunity for appetizer consumption!!
Most appetizer recipes are intended for parties so they’re meant to serve 16 or so. And yeah, obviously I could eat 4 and call it dinner but they’re also usually so unhealthy that they’re only truly appealing in small doses.
SUCH. A. DILEMMA.
Sooooooo don’t be offended if I invite you over and spend most of my time stuffing my face. And stuffing your face. It’s not personal!
Something about summer also just gets me in the mood to entertain more.
Maybe it’s the warm weather, which puts me in a better, more jovial mood in general.
But proobbbaabbblllyyy it’s all the fresh, local produce just BEGGING me to take it home and turn it into something beautiful. And then I just have to share with the people I love. Or risk having my fridge explode with leftovers. I choose the former.
These polenta bites are one of my favorite appetizer discoveries of the summer entertaining season so far. The polenta itself is incredibly simple. It is cooked twice – first simmered in a pan to get rid of the grit and coarseness and then baked so that it sturdies up and gets crispy around the edges. The bites are then topped with a blueberry jalapeno corn relish that is simultaneously sweet, tart, and spicy. All of the produce in it is left raw so its integrity and flavor are really given the opportunity to shine.
Summer produce, you guys! Just can’t beat it.
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup polenta
- ½ tsp oregano
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 ears of corn
- 1 ¼ cups blueberries
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp olive oil, plus more for the pan
- 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and diced
- Heat oven to 425F. Grease an 8-inch square glass or ceramic with olive oil.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, garlic, and water over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Stir in the polenta and oregano, whisking to combine. Turn the heat down to low and cook polenta, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened and is no longer gritty, about 10 minutes but possibly less depending on how coarse the polenta is ground. Remove from the heat. Stir in the parmesan cheese and season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Pour the polenta into the prepared baking dish. Bake until golden brown and set, about 30-40 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, cut the kernels of corn off the cobs and place them in a large bowl. Halve half of the blueberries. Place both the cut and whole blueberries into the bowl with the corn. Stir in the rice wine vinegar, olive oil, and jalapeno. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Once cool, cut the polenta into squares. Top with the corn-blueberry mixture and serve.