The 4th of July is almost here, and I’ve got new recipe to up your grilling game.
The base of this hearty dish is a tender mound of creamy polenta infused with cheddar cheese, Parmesan and garlic. The polenta cooks in the oven, making preparation super simple. Yummy Johnsonville Brats are then charred on a hot grill beside two halves of purple radicchio. The bitter cabbage turns golden and wilted on the outside while the inside remains fresh and crisp. Each radicchio half is sliced and tossed with lemon juice and olive oil, then mixed with juicy bits of bratwurst. The colorful topping is spooned atop the warm polenta, then finished with small leaves of bright basil. The bitterness of the radicchio salad balances the richness of the polenta and brats while the basil ties it all together.
Serve this baked polenta for a 4th of July party (or any backyard barbecue) alongside more traditional offerings like hamburgers or hotdogs. The polenta cooks for just 30 minutes in the oven, allowing plenty of time to grill up all the meats and veggies! Continue reading for the recipe.
This method for cooking polenta was inspired by Martha Stewart. Typically, polenta is prepared on the stove top, and requires a lot of stirring and attention. Simple to prepare, but time consuming. The oven method is much easier. Liquids and seasonings are added at the beginning with the polenta. The soupy mix is then cooked, covered, in a hot oven for 30 minutes. Stirring is required around minute 15, and the mixture will still look very wet. After the full 30 minutes, you’ll see that most of the liquid has been absorbed by the cornmeal. Butter, milk and cheese are then added at the end. Deliciously creamy results without all of the hassle!
Baked Cheddar Polenta with Grilled Brats and Radicchio
- 1 cup polenta
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, divided, plus more as needed
- 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 head of radicchio, halved
- Olive oil
- 1 package (1 lb 3 oz.) Johnsonville Original Brats
- Juice of 1/2 lemon, about 1 tablespoon
- Small basil leaves, for sprinkling
Preheat an oven to 425°F. Preheat a grill (preferably charcoal) to medium-high heat.
Add polenta, water, 1 1/4 cups milk, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to a shallow pan or dutch oven, whisking to combine. Cover and bake until polenta has absorbed most of the liquid (30 mins), stirring halfway through. Finish the polenta by stirring in butter, 1/4 cup milk, cheddar and Parmesan. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. If the polenta firms up, stir in a little more milk to loosen up. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, drizzle the radicchio with olive oil, so it's evenly coated. Season all over with salt. Grill the radicchio, cut-side down, beside the brats. Cook until the radicchio is charred (about 3 minutes), then flip over and cook for 1 minute more. The brats will need 8 to 9 minutes total and a flip halfway through. Thinly slice the radicchio, then toss with lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season to taste with kosher salt. Also slice the brats.
To serve, top polenta with radicchio salad and sliced brats. Finish with a sprinkling of small basil leaves (or torn big leaves). Enjoy immediately!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville. The opinions and text are all mine.1