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Seared Polenta with Garlicky Radicchio

Seared Polenta with Garlicky Radicchio

For quicker assembly, make the polenta ahead of time—it will keep, covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days. Leave out at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before searing.
Servings 8



  • 1 cup polenta medium- or fine-ground cornmeal
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter plus more for greasing pan
  • 1 cup grated fontina
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for searing


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces prosciutto cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 heads radicchio halved, cored, and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste



  • Boil 4 cups water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until polenta starts to thicken, about 20 minutes. Whisk in milk and salt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until polenta grains are tender, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, butter an 8-inch-by-8-inch baking dish. Stir fontina and butter into polenta and season to taste. Pour into prepared baking dish and smooth top. Cool completely.
  • When cool, cut polenta in half and then in quarters the other way, for a total of 8 pieces. When ready to serve, heat a couple of teaspoons of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high. Sear polenta, 2 pieces at a time, until deep golden and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Keep warm


  • Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add prosciutto and cook until crisp and fat has rendered, about 4 minutes. Remove garlic and prosciutto with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add radicchio, in batches if needed, and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted and partially tender, about 3 minutes. Return garlic and prosciutto to pan and season with salt and pepper. Serve seared polenta with radicchio spooned on top.

Molly Shuster

Molly is a freelance food stylist, writer and recipe developer. She is one of the co-recipe editors of Gather Journal and has had her work published in various publications including Boston Magazine, Yankee Magazine, The New York Times, Food and Wine, Family Fun, The Boston Globe and Edible Vineyard, among others. Molly currently divides her time between New York and Boston.

Photographer Lauren Volo

New York City-based photographer Lauren Volo has been shooting our "One Cheese, Five Ways" feature for over a year—hard job, huh?

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