The Best Polenta Appetizers
Crispy polenta rounds are a delicious, gluten-free base for appetizers. I love searing pieces in a pan with a little oil and have even crisped them up in an air-fryer – so very yummy and healthy.
My quick trick is to use prepared polenta – those convenient, organic tubes of high-quality polenta are readily available in most supermarkets and are a great time saver. Slicing it and crisping it up in a pan creates an easy, elegant base for appetizers or a light lunch or supper.
Top the crispy rounds, as I have here with shrimp and pesto or sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onion chutney but BE BRAVE and experiment with other toppings – anything you would put on crostini will work well here.
So have fun serving these appetizers and creating more unique and interesting toppings for these delicious polenta rounds!
Crispy Polenta Appetizer Rounds
Prepared 18 oz tube of prepared Polenta
2 tablespoons O&V Roasted Garlic Oil *
½ lb medium to large shrimp
1 ½ tablespoon O&V Roasted Garlic Oil (divided) *
2 teaspoons O&V Formaggio Dipper Spice *
Fresh Cracked pepper to taste
6 teaspoons O&V Pesto alla Genovese *
Crispy prosciutto sprinkles
Garnish of crumbled goat cheese
1 ½ tablespoons O&V Roasted Garlic Oil *
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 oz shitake (or oyster) mushrooms, sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tablespoons O&V Tuscan Dipper Spice *
4 tablespoons O&V Caramelized Onion Jam *
Garnish of crumbled gorgonzola cheese
Parsley leaves for garnish
Slice polenta into ½ inch thick slices.
Air fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 400F. Brush the Roasted Garlic oil on both sides of each round. Then place the polenta rounds in a single layer. Cook at 400F for 6-10 minutes on each side until crisp and brown. Season with fresh cracked pepper.
Pan: Heat a skillet on medium high heat. Add the Roasted Garlic oil. Fry the polenta rounds in a single layer in the oil seasoning each side with fresh cracked pepper. Cook until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining polenta rounds.
In a bowl toss the shrimp with ½ tablespoon of oil, cracked pepper and the Formaggio dipper coating all the shrimp evenly. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the shrimp in the skillet for 2 minutes on each side until pink and opaque.
Make the crispy prosciutto by laying the prosciutto on a parchment lined baking sheet (don’t let them overlap, and curl the edges so they don’t burn). Preheat the oven to 400F. Bake until the slices start to shrivel and turn golden (about 12-16 minutes). Keep an eye on them, they go from crisp to burned very quickly! Remove and cool on a rack.
Heat the Roasted Garlic oil in a skillet. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté about 4-6 minutes. Add the garlic, Tuscan Herb dipper spice and fresh cracked pepper. Sauté until aromatic and golden brown. Remove from the heat.
Spread the Pesto alla Genovese on half the polenta rounds. Top with a shrimp, sprinkle of crispy prosciutto and garnish with goat cheese crumbles.
Heap the prepared mushrooms on the remaining polenta rounds. Top with a dollop of caramelized onion chutney and a sprinkle of blue cheese crumbles
Total Time: 40-55 minutes
* The Roasted Garlic Grape seed oil has a nice high smoke point and is deliciously garlicky. Both the Formaggio Dipper and Tuscan Dipper are flavorful spice mixes that add easy and complex flavors to both the mushrooms and the shrimp. You can substitute with your favorite, robust, Italian spice blend.
* I love the Pesto alla Genovese, and although you can use any store-bought pesto, this particular one is absolutely incredible. Our Oil & Vinegar store in Greenville carries the Caramelized Onion Jam or you can make my home-made version of Onion Chutney instead.
Categories: Entrée, Snacks & Sides, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Air Fryer, Polenta Rounds, Roasted Garlic Oil, Formaggio Dipper Tuscan Dipper, Pesto Alla Genovese, Caramelized Onion Chutney, Appetizers, Hors d’oeuvre, Light Supper, Mushroom Topping, Cremini, Oyster Mushrooms, Shitake, Shrimp, Prosciutto