Polenta with Parmesan and Parsley, Mozzarella and Tomato

Mar 19, 2012 by

I  haven’t made polenta in some time now. A friend of mine recently asked me if I had a recipe – which I did. But because this friend is super special to me and one of my BIGGEST supporters, not only of The Lovely Pantry, but of me as a person… I wanted to do something nice and a little different. A delicate dish that was smooth, flavourful and good for the body. I think I’ve accomplished that with this recipe and presentation.

In Jamaica, the term “Polenta” is rarely used however, I believe Jamaicans are becoming more aware of the term. Polenta is quite like a dish we call Turn Cornmeal or “Tun Cornmeal” – which is a dish of a similar consistency but includes ingredients such as coconut milk, escallion, garlic, thyme and of course, scotch bonnet pepper. Just like Polenta, Turn cornmeal can be served in a variety of ways and with different meats or sauces. Personally, I don’t like my Polenta mushy. I prefer it crispy on the outside and soft but firm on the inside.

Todays dish is meat free and fabulous. I hope to make more dishes like this. I believe this could be a snack, a breakfast or an appetizer. What do you think?


Parsley Polenta with Mozzarella & Tomato


This is basically how I make my polenta but you can certainly make variations. If you don’t have parsley, chop some spinach or kale. Add some sweet corn. Get creative! I have made polenta using water and I’ll never do that again – too bland. I will always add a broth because I find it to be more flavourful that way. I decided to dress up my polenta with mozzarella (more cheese, I know!!) and broiled tomato slices topped with a seasoned breadcrumb mixture.


Polenta with Parmesan and Parsley, Mozzarella and Tomato

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 53 minutes

Polenta, a dish so versatile it can be had in so many ways. Made with yellow cornmeal, chicken broth, parmesan cheese and parsley


  • 6 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth (or Vegetable Broth)
  • 1 3/4 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 4 Slices Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese + 1 Tbsp
  • 1/2 Cup Parsley, finely chopped + 1 Tbsp
  • 1 Tomato, firm
  • 1/4 Cup Breadcrumbs
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • Olive Oil


  1. In a large saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil
  2. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal, removing any lumps that may form
  3. Reduce heat and cook until the mixture thickens, stirring often for about 15 minutes
  4. Add parmesan, stir to combine
  5. Add butter, stir to combine
  6. Finally, add parsley and stir to combine
  7. Pour into a shallow dish about an inch deep. Use a spatula to spread into the corners. Allow to rest and firm up
  8. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, 1 Tbsp parsley, 1 Tbsp parmesan. Mix to combine.
  9. Remove the top and bottom from the tomato and cut into 4 slices
  10. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Lightly grease with cooking spray
  11. Place tomatoes on the tray and sprinkle each slice with a pinch of salt and pepper and then the breadcrumb mixture
  12. Drizzle olive oil over the breadcrumbs on each tomato slice
  13. Place in broiler for about 5-8 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Set aside when done
  14. Using cookie cutters, cut out 4 circles about 2-3 inches in diameter from the cooled polenta
  15. In a hot skillet, spray with cooking spray, brown polenta about 3-4 minutes on each side, until crispy and golden brown. Set aside.
  16. When the polenta and tomato are cool to the touch, place a slice of mozzarella on each polenta disc then top with a slice of tomato

Looks a lot like cornmeal porridge here!


Yellow Cornmeal being cooked


I love the splash colour that parsley adds.


Add the parsley to the cornmeal


Spread the polenta evenly into the baking tray as best you can. It is quite thick at this point and needs “encouragement” to get into the corners.


Spread the polenta in a rimmed baking tray


I used a cookie cutter only because I wanted to stack with other ingredients that were round. Otherwise I would have just used a sharp knife and cut square pieces.


Cookie Cutter


So here’s the thing. I don’t love tomatoes. But I’ll eat them like how I’ve prepared them here – with breadcrumbs. I know, I know. Weird. I’m trying to eat more though. So good for you.


Tomato Slices


I loved the smooth and creamy texture that the mozzarella added to this combination. You don’t need too much, since the flavour is very mild.


Parmesan Polenta, Mozzarella, Tomato with breadcrumbs


Picture perfect Polenta!


Polenta, Mozzarella, Tomato



And there you have it! A tasty way to make polenta.  Left over polenta is awesome pan-fried for breakfast with some maple syrup. Its like the breakfast of champions!

To my friend, Nicky – Thank you!


Happy Monday to you all!


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  1. Looks truly delicious!

  2. Your polenta looks so welcoming. I love using it is a bread for sandwiches. And then you have the perfect accompaniment. Imagining it when the real tomatoes come to us!

    • Hi Claudia! I was thinking of a way to layer it, I guess I didn’t think of it like a sandwich but of course, thats what it would be. You have the wheels in my brain turning with ideas! Thank you for your comment!

  3. Nicky

    Aaaaaw gee :)
    Lyn you rock. Its looks amazing. I cant wait to try it on the weekend.
    Much Love.

  4. Nicky

    Nicky <3 Lovely Lyn.

  5. I love this! And better yet, I think I’ve got all the ingredients to make it without having to run to the store :-)

    • Don’t you just love those moments? When you realize its your destiny to make a specific recipe? LOL! Thanks for your visit, Susan!

  6. This is just lovely! :) I love polenta crunchy too.

  7. Beautiful presentation as always! You never fail to amaze me with your delicious and healthy creations, Lyn!

  8. You have indeed created a lovely picture perfect breakfast. I sure liked this and will try soon with Gf bread crumbs.

  9. wow A really stunning polenta dish. Love the plating and presentation. Simply delectable.

  10. wow, this dish is absolutely lovely. beautiful, fresh, delicious…definitely want to try sometime!!

  11. Gorgeous photos as usual. I love how elegant and appetizing this looks. Nicely done.

  12. Zoe

    This is the “king” of all breakfast! I wish that I can have this for my breakfast.

    Your blog is fantastic and all your photo are very beautifully taken 😀

    • Thank you so much for your amazing and kind words! I’m humbled! :-) I appreciate your visit and comment! Hope to see you again!

  13. I’m not a fan of tomatoes either, but I really love the look and sound of this! Photo is beautiful too.

    • Thank you Sheelagh! Sometimes you have to make food that you dont like visually appealing so you can eat it :-)

  14. This is beautiful! I think the most beautiful polenta dish I’ve ever seen! What a great idea to combine with Parmesan, mozzarella and tomato slice! I want to eat this!

  15. OMG that looks delicious! And beautiful!

    I also wanted to let you know I’ve nominated you for The Liebster Award :)! You can check here for more details: http://cookingactress.blogspot.com/2012/03/awards.html

    • Thank you so much, Kayle and THANK YOU for my award! I really need to create a space for it. I’m honoured!

  16. Lyn, I must say, this must be one of the most attractive dishes you have prepared, photographed and published! I’m not a lover of Polenta myself, but I’ll definitely share it with my mom who absolutely loves it!!

    • Awww Thanks CD – you would know, you’ve seen them all! Oh I hope mommy tries it! That would be so awesome! :-)

  17. This is such a great idea, and it sounds so healthy and light! I just printed this and will definitely have to try it soon.

    Oh, and you already know about your award, but I’m just now catching up on my reading… :o/ Have a great weekend!

    • I’m glad you like it Sofie! I hope to hear how you tweaked it and if you loved it like I did :-) My award is fabulous and so are you! Have an awesome weekend too!

  18. This is lovely. I created a similar dish for my wedding (my caterer was awesome and used 3 of my recipes) in 2010 – one was vegan and one had seafood. I love this polenta-caprese version you’ve done.

    • Thanks Jessica! How cool is that to have your recipes at your wedding! Its funny, When I came up with this, I only chose mozzarella because it was round and was mild in flavour :-S Only to learn about Caprese salad after the fact.

  19. JC Marc

    This is a lovely dish. I love that you can make all the components and just assemble whenever you want a delicious lunch. I am so making this tomorrow because I just happen to have all the ingredients. Thank you for sharing this tasty dish!

  20. You are right! Perfectly beautiful! I can almost taste it. I don’t think I would have the patience to make it look as pretty. I would just cut it into squares & pile it on! Yummmm.

  21. Debi

    These did take a little time but are very tasty! I made the polenta the day before so that helped. I put them in the oven for just a couple of minutes to heat them bit. I also chopped a little fresh basil and sprinkled it on the top right before serving them. Thanks for the creative recipe!
    …also had a quick question, how did these keep for the next day?

    • Hi Debi, thanks for visiting and commenting! The Polenta was perfect the next day and a few days beyond that, actually. I pan fried pieces and had them for breakfast with maple syrup. Polenta is quite versatile!


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