Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by Colavita: Italian summer grilling. Recipe, photos, and opinions are all my own. Thank you Colavita for keeping Rhubarbarians up and running! Click here to get a $1.00 off coupon, and 15% off in their online store.
Well, welcome to the post with the LONGEST NAME EVER! Whoa, got a little carried away there didn't I? I guess I just needed errrrrry single ingredient in that title. Difficult name to say three times fast, but really, a super simple summer grilled side dish. Polenta loaf is sliced, and grilled with sliced peaches. Then served on a peppery strawberry balsamic sauce and topped with balsamic glace. With a refreshing raspberry drinking shrub. YUM!
In my eyes, the perfect Italian grilling table ALWAYS includes a classic caprese salad with some amazing mozzarella or burrata cheese. When given the task to create a unique summer grilling dish, however, I went out of my comfort zone and attempted some flavors I knew were great on their own, but hadn't put together before. The mildness of the polenta totally blends with the peppery strawberry balsamic sauce, and the grilled peaches add that sweet taste of summer. The raspberry shrub combines raspberry vinegar with fresh raspberries and soda water, for a refreshing fizziness.
Colavita olive oils and vinegars are items that I buy on a regular basis, but I had no idea they carried such a wide array of awesome Italian goodies. Capers, polenta, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, oils, vinegars, even salt and pepper! The quality is just killer, just like Italian food should be.
- FOR THE POLENTA:
- 3½ cups water
- 1 cup Colavita polenta cornmeal
- 2 Tablespoons Colavita 100% organic extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- FOR THE SHRUB:
- 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1 cup Colavita raspberry wine vinegar
- 4 cups sparkling or tonic water
- FOR THE SAUCE:
- 2½ cups fresh or frozen strawberries, hulled
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons Colavita balsamic glace original
- 2 teaspoons ground Rachael Ray malabar black peppercorns
- FOR THE PEACHES:
- Colavita 100% organic extra virgin olive oil
- 2 peaches, sliced
- Colavita balsamic glace original
- Start by making your polenta: Bring 3½ cups water to boil in a saucepan. Gradually whisk in polenta. Reduce heat, and continue stirring for about 5 minutes, or until thickened and almost doughy.
- Stir in 2 Tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grease a shallow loaf pan with olive oil and pour in polenta. Let come to room temperature, then refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make your shrub vinegar: Combine raspberries and vinegar in a glass jar with tight fitting lid and let sit for 1 hour, shaking every 10 minutes or so. Strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Discard berries and set liquid aside.
- Meanwhile, make your sauce: Puree strawberries and water in a blender until smooth. Heat over medium heat in a saucepan, until just simmering. Add 2 Tablespoons balsamic glace and 2 Tablespoons of pepper. Stir well.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and slightly thick, about 15 minutes. Keep warm
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the chilled polenta loaf from the pan and slice into ½ inch thick strips. Place polenta strips on a broiler pan and bake for 5 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set aside.
- Heat your grill to high heat. Apply olive oil to each side of the polenta and the peaches. Grill for about 3-4 minutes per side, only flipping once.
- Place a generous amount of sauce on a plate or shallow bowl. Top with grilled polenta and peaches. Drizzle with balsamic glace.
- Make your shrub: Fill a glass with as much ice as desired. Pour in a few Tablespoons of vinegar and top with soda water. Add more vinegar to taste.
What's your favorite Italian summer grilling recipe? I'd love to hear them!