Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
10 servings (serving size: 3 topped polenta squares)

These are also tasty with chopped dried figs or cranberries in place of the currants.

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Gradually add polenta and salt, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat to low, and cook for 4 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Stir in butter. Spoon polenta into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray, spreading evenly. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of polenta; chill for 1 hour or until polenta is very firm. Cut into 30 squares.

Step 2

Combine 1/4 cup boiling water and currants in a small bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes or until currants are plump; drain. Combine currants, cheese, pine nuts, and orange rind in a small bowl.

Step 3

Heat vinegar in a small saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 10 minutes). Cool slightly.

Step 4

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add half of polenta squares to pan, and cook for 6 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove polenta squares from pan, and keep warm. Repeat procedure with the remaining polenta. Top each square with rounded 1/2 teaspoon of cheese mixture, and drizzle with about 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar. Garnish with parsley.

Ratings & Reviews

KET2394's Review

December 12, 2010
Just made these exactly as directed. They were pretty good (very different from the standard holiday party appetizer). Next time I make this, I will spread the polenta in a larger pan, these were pretty thick at almost an inch high and I think they'd be better at just about 1/2 inch. The other change I would make relates to the vinegar: in the photo these appear to have a dark base (soaked in vinegar?) - I think I'd do that rather than splash the tops with it. The flavor is excellent, but the appearance would be cleaner with it this way.

ieyedocotor's Review

November 27, 2012