A BBQ isn’t always the most welcoming place for a vegetarian. I’m a Texas girl, so naturally beef brisket will always have a special place in my heart (and on my waistline). However, grilling doesn’t have to be strictly for carnivores. Grilled polenta and corn with avocado, sweet peppers, and cilantro is a meatless meal that might make you forget the ribs and brats for a while.
I have a hard time resisting polenta when I see it on a menu. Polenta is made by boiling cornmeal. Sounds gross, but it’s ridiculously delicious. Grilling is probably my favorite way of preparing it. The outside has a little crisp, but the inside is still soft and chewy. It’s hard to find anything that compares to it. I used precooked polenta for this recipe, so it was ready in under thirty minutes. I know you foodies are rolling your eyes at me for not making it from scratch…Having an infant necessitates that shortcuts happen in my kitchen these days. Frequently. One day I’ll again have time to sit in front of the stove carefully stirring a pot for 25 minutes. Until then, my local market sells it in a package. And all the mommas said, “Amen.”
Warm, rich polenta with creamy avocado and crunchy bell peppers is enough to bring tears to your eyes. Chipotle lime mayo and cilantro add some punch to keep your taste buds plenty busy. It’s such a simple recipe that incorporates some of summer’s best flavors. I personally like the mix of grilled corn and raw peppers, but you could grill the bell pepper with the corn if you wanted.
Grilled Polenta with Avocado Relish
-1 package of precooked polenta (I used one with cilantro, but plain polenta would be fine.)
-ear of corn
-red bell pepper
Chipotle Lime Mayo
-1/2 cup mayo
-1 tablespoon olive or grape seed oil
-juice of half a lime
-1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle
1. Slice packaged polenta into 1-inch thick rounds. *Optional: I like to brine the corn. Remove husks and soak in a pot of room temp water with about 1/2 cup of salt. Let this sit at least an hour.
2. Chop bell pepper, onions, and cilantro. Pit and cube avocado.
3. Prepare chipotle lime sauce by combining all ingredients and whisking until emulsified.
4. Heat grill to med heat. Coat grill with nonstick spray, or brush corn and both sides of polenta with oil.
5. Corn should cook about 18-20 minutes. Turn at least once mid way through cooking. Grill polenta about 5 minutes on each side.
6. Carefully cut grilled corn from the cob. Plate polenta and top with vegetables. Dress with the chipotle mayo. Serve immediately, preferably with a mojito!
~Serves two or makes a great appetizer for six.
PS: Did anyone else watch Breaking Bad last night??? Stu and I kept saying “tread lightly” all evening.