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Grilled Polenta and Veggies with Arugula Pesto

Grilled Polenta Veggies 1500x609

If you're looking for a late-summer Meatless Monday option, look no further (but if there's room on the grill, some APPLEGATE® dinner sausages would fit right into this meal). A bowl of Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes would also go nicely here. We like to make our own polenta for this the night before, but feel free to use ready-made polenta that comes in a tube and simply slice it into ½-inch thick rounds.

Total Time: Less Than 60 Mins


  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups dried polenta
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into wide strips 
  • 2 summer squash, cut into ½-inch-thick rounds 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Chinese eggplants, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1 large red onion, cut into ½-inch-thick rounds
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided Arugula Pesto, for serving


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a heavy pot. Whisk in the polenta and ½ teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat and simmer, whisking frequently, until polenta has thickened, about 20 minutes.
  2. Pour the polenta into a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and let cool completely (polenta will firm up as it cools). Set aside.
  3. Combine the bell peppers and squash in a large bowl with
  4. 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine.
  5. Arrange the eggplants and onions on a tray (these are too finicky to toss easily) and brush with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 
  6. When the polenta is completely cool, cut it into squares and brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  7. Heat a grill to moderate heat. Working in batches, arrange the vegetables and polenta over the grill. Grill, flipping once, until vegetables are tender and polenta is heated through, 8-10 minutes.
  8. Transfer everything to a large platter and serve with the arugula pesto on the side.