Grilled polenta with cime di rapa and gorgonzola sauce

A staple with ancient origins, polenta has now found favour around the world. Mario Matassa demonstrates how wonderfully versatile it can be in this grilled polenta recipe

Grilled polenta with cime di rapa and gorgonzola sauce

Polenta’s versatility is such that it is used in Italy for any course, ranging from a simple antipasto, a hearty piato unico – a dish that serves both as a first and a second course – to a light lunch, a snack, an extra on the barbecue, and a wide range of desserts. It’s even used to make chips and pizza!

This simple recipe of crispy polenta cakes topped with cime di rapa and an indulgent gorgonzola sauce is perfect for a light lunch.

Cime di rapa, also known as broccoli rabe, is prized for its balanced bittersweet taste. It can be substituted in this recipe with another broccoli or any green vegetables you like – the results will be just as delicious!

Grilled polenta with cime di rapa and gorgonzola sauce | Polenta grigliata con cime di rapa e gorgonzola

➤ PREPARATION: 10 minutes
➤ COOKING: 25 minutes


  • 350g instant polenta
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
  • sea salt
  • 500g cime di rapa (broccoli heads or any greens you prefer)
  • 125ml double cream
  • 300g gorgonzola cheese


  1. Cook the instant polenta according to the packet instructions and pour it out onto a large lightly oiled baking sheet, about 2-3cm thick. Allow it to cool and set completely. Once it is cool, cut the polenta in the same way you would cut a chocolate brownie, a horizontal and vertical grid.
  2. To prepare the cime di rapa, add the garlic and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to a heavy-based fry pan. Heat gently. Wash the cime di rapa, chop roughly and add to the pan. Cover with a lid and cook for about 8 minutes, until tender but still retaining a crunch. Season gently with salt.
  3. To make the gorgonzola sauce, simply pour the cream into a saucepan, add the cheese and warm gently until the cheese has completely melted. Set aside until ready to serve.
  4. To finish, heat a griddle pan on the stove until it begins to smoke. This works equally well on the barbecue. Lightly brush each slab of polenta with olive oil and place on the hot griddle. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side until crisp and firm. To serve, place two pieces of polenta on each plate, add a heaping of greens, and finally pour the cheese sauce over the top. Serve immediately.

Recipe and photo by Mario Matassa

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