Grilled Polenta with Caramelized Onions, Fig and Balsamic Reduction

The other day I was walking through Trader Joe’s and found myself picking up a log of polenta. I’ve eaten polenta numerous times and have always enjoyed it. But believe it or not, I have never prepared it myself. Now I’m not sure if buying a pre-made log, slicing it and cooking it counts as truly preparing polenta but this blog is all about a high ease-of-use to yumminess ratio so here you have it.

Knowing the creamy, slightly savory, slightly sweet flavor of polenta, I thought caramelized onions, a slice of fresh fig and a sticky sweet balsamic reduction drizzle was the way to go. I also have a sweet tooth as I’m sure you know by now.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a log/tube of polenta, removed from casing and cut into 1/2-inch slices (I got 12 slices out of mine)
  • oil for grilling
  • half a red onion
  • 3 figs, sliced into at least 12 slices
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup, plus one splash

My polenta log

Slicing the log into 1/2-inch slices

12 slices, ready for grilling

Heat some oil on a large skillet or griddle, then place the polenta slices to cook until browned. Flip them over to brown the other sides.

Meanwhile, slice the red onion and place into a separate pan with oil, over medium-high heat. Add a splash of maple syrup and cook until tender and caramelized.

Then, in a small saucepan, cook the balsamic over low-medium heat until boiling. Reduce the heat to a low simmer until it thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the tsp of maple syrup until well blended.

When the polenta is done, plate the slices and then place some caramelized onions in a crescent shape on each slice. Place a layer of fig next to the onions. Drizzle the balsamic reduction on top and serve.

Happy eating!