Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Tuscan Grilled Polenta & Vegetable Platter with Balsamic Soy Glaze

By Steven Raichlen

  • Advance Prep: 3 hours for chilling the polenta

  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Method: Direct Grilling
  • Equipment: Toothpicks or slender bamboo skewers
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For the vegetables:

  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 large sweet or red onion, peeled, top trimmed (leave the stem end intact), and sliced into 8 wedges
  • 2 zucchini, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 yellow squash, or more zucchini, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 heads Treviso, raddichio, or Belgian endive, quartered lengthwise through the stems
  • 1 medium eggplant, trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 3 bell peppers (ideally one red, yellow, and orange), cored, seeded and cut into 2 inch strips

  • 1 batch cooked polenta, chilled in a pan (see Step 4, below)

  • 1 cup extra virgin oil, or as needed
  • 3 tablespoons dried mint or oregano
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 Meyer lemons, cut into wedges

Step 1: Pin the asparagus stalks crosswise with toothpicks to make rafts. Pin each onion wedge with a toothpick. Arrange the asparagus, onions, zucchini, squash, Treviso, eggplant slices, and peppers on a baking sheet. Brush the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with dried mint, salt, and pepper. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the veggies. Turn the vegetables over and season the other side the same way.

Step 2: Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush and oil the grill grate.

Step 3: Arrange the vegetables on the grate and grill until browned, 2 to 5 minutes per side depending on the vegetable. Arrange the grilled vegetables on one side of a large platter.

Step 4: Cut the polenta into 3-inch squares. Lightly brush on both sides with extra virgin olive oil. Grill the polenta until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side, giving each a quarter turn after 2 minutes to lay on a crosshatch of grill marks. Arrange the polenta on the other side of the platter.

Step 5: Drizzle more olive oil over the vegetables and polenta and sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.