Garnacha Day — Goat Cheese and Plum Polenta Squares
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Serves: 12 squares
Grilled polenta is topped with honey roasted plums, goat cheese, basil, and balsamic reduction. An elegant appetizer paired with Garnacha red or white wine.
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup Corn Grits (Polenta)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ cup Parmesan
  • 4 plums, washed, pitted, and sliced into half-moon shapes
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ cup goat cheese crumbles
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Balsamic reduction, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Set aside a 9x13 oven proof dish and an 8x8 glass dish.
  2. In a large stock pot, bring the vegetable broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, stir in the polenta corn grits and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring until the polenta thickens considerably and begins to pull away from the sides of the pot. (Tip: Use a spoon with a long handle as the polenta bubbles and spits as it cooks). Remove from heat then stir in the butter, Parmesan, salt, dried basil, and garlic powder.
  3. Generously butter an 8x8 dish. Pour the cooked polenta into the dish, using a spatula to evenly distribute the polenta into all four corners of the dish. Let sit until steam subsides, then chill in the refrigerator until set, about 30 minutes.
  4. Rinse the plums, slice in half, and remove the pits. Slice the plums into half-moon shapes and place into the bottom of a 9x13 dish. Drizzle lemon juice and honey over the plums, then toss to coat. Roast, uncovered, for 25 minutes, until the plums soften and can be pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and set aside.
  5. Generously spray the grates of a grill with canola nonstick cooking spray (make sure grill is OFF before you do this). Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  6. Remove polenta from the fridge and slice into 12 equal size squares, trimming corner pieces as needed. Spray the tops with canola cooking spray.
  7. Place the squares greased side down onto the grill. Close grill cover and cook for 5 minutes, then gently flip onto the other side and cook for another 5 minutes. Polenta will be done when firm to the touch and golden brown on top.
  8. Remove polenta squares from the grill and place on a serving platter. Immediately spoon about a teaspoon of goat cheese crumbles over top each polenta square, followed by a roasted plum or two. Garnish the entire platter with chopped fresh basil leaves. Drizzle desired amount of balsamic reduction over top the squares.
  9. Serve immediately either as a passed appetizer or on small plates with extra goat cheese and roasted plums on the side.
Recipe by Honest Cooking at