Polenta Croutons with Parmesan

Polenta Croutons with Parmesan

Croutons are not something I normally use. My soups and salads tend to be substantial and flavourful enough without them. I've also found that store-bought varieties are about as appetizing as the crumbs lingering on the bottom of my toaster oven. Recently however, a co-worker passed on a recipe for a brothy tomato soup with Parmesan croutons and chive oil that sounded just perfect. In preparation, I deviated from the original recipe and made these Polenta Croutons with Parmesan cheese. They turned out so well, I found myself enjoying them as a snack.

I sprinkled the Parmesan over the cooked polenta, but in hindsight, I would increase the amount of cheese and stir some into the pot before transferring it to the pan to cool.

Polenta Parmesan CroutonsPolenta Parmesan Croutons
Recipe by
Published on May 11, 2008

Dense and delicious polenta croutons baked with Parmesan cheese — these are great for salads and also hold their shape in soups — they're also terrific as a snack by themselves

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Ingredients:
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions:
  • Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and pour in the cornmeal, stirring constantly. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture is thickened. Remove from heat, and stir in the cayenne, salt, olive oil and black pepper.

  • Grease an 8 × 8 baking pan. Transfer the polenta into the pan and spread evenly with a spatula or knife. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Leave to cool.

  • Preheat an oven to 450° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the polenta into small cubes and gently transfer the cubes to the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until the croutons are crisp and golden, flipping occasionally with a pair of tongs so that each side of the cubes browns evenly.

Makes about 3 dozen croutons
Polenta Croutons with Parmesan

15 comments:

Kevin said...

Those polenta croutons look good. I have yet to try baking polenta but it sounds really interesting.

Lucy said...

'...store-bought varieties are about as appetizing as the crumbs lingering on the bottom of my toaster oven.'

Oh, yes.

Chive oil! That entire combination sounds spectacular.

Chef Erik said...

Super idea, you just gave me inspiration with these croutons made of polenta. What do you think of arugula, atichohes, pine nuts, kalamatas, and feta? I think it will be great.

Lisa said...

Lucy, that soup is coming soon.

Chef Erik, oh yes, I think that is a fine use of these croutons. Some choice flavours indeed!

Ricki said...

Looks fabulous. I think that YOUR grain recipes always appeal to me, too! These would be perfect for when croutons ARE required! ;)

Johanna said...

I'm not much of a croutons person either - too much extra work for little return - but these look worth the effort - will look forward to the soup!

LisaRene said...

I totally agree regarding store-bought croutons and many served in restaurants. I just don't get it?

These on the other hand sound delicious! I bet they would be great served on their own as an accompaniment to wine!

eatme_delicious said...

I used to hate croutons. Now I like them sometimes but they usually aren't anything amazing. These sound really fun and different!

Suganya said...

I always make sure that there is extra polenta to make croutons the next day. Fabulous.

Pacheco Patty said...

I'm trying these polenta croutons, love this recipe;-)

Amy at TheSceneFromMe said...

Wow, these look so appetizing! Perfect atop a soup this blustery winter in the Midwest!

Mario Grazia Italian Chef said...

A good variation for this croutons are cheesy croutons made with Parmigiano-Reggiano and béchamel.
Obviously, this variation isn't for soup, but is good as appetizzer.
http://www.academiabarilla.com/italian-recipes/search-recipes/croutons-with-parmesan-cheese.aspx

Sharyn Dimmick said...

These polenta croutons look totally yummy. I'm on it to make them soon. Thank you.

Mairi Campbell said...

Made these tonight to serve with homemade tomato soup...the soup recipe called for store-bought polenta but...no...they turned out looking exactly like your photo, and the flavour was good...I added some grated Romano to the batter as well as more on top. My only issue was that they didn't get crunchy for me. Maybe this was because I cut the simmer time....it was thickening so much that I took it off the stove before the 10 minute mark...probably more like 6 min...could that have been why? I will certainly not hesitate to make them again..maybe a touch less cayenne next time for my preference. thanks for the recipe :)

Lisa Turner said...

Hi Mairi. Glad you enjoyed the croutons. I don't think mine were quite as crispy as regular bread croutons, but they surely were even better in my opinion. As you suggest, maybe you should have cooked the polenta longer. Practice makes perfect :)