Crispy polenta with Italian provolone cheese and thyme

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Lies Smits of the cool blog LepeltjeLiefde  ate such delicious crispy polenta in a restaurant that she had to copy it. Although you probably think of a yellowish paste when you think of traditional Italian polenta, the polenta in this recipe is deliciously crunchy.

Main course for 4 persons:

For the crispy polenta:

  • 200 grams traditional polenta (instant polenta is also possible, but the traditional makes this dish tastier)
  • 150 grams of provolone cheese (Italian cheese, just for sale in the supermarket) 
  • Mixed salad
  • 2 oranges, diced
  • 1 red onion, in wafer-thin half rings 
  • 100 grams of Puy lentils
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme + some extra to garnish
  • salt and pepper

For the dressing:

  • 5 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Juice of half a (preferably a bit sour) orange

In combination with the provolone cheese and thyme, this is a delicious light lunch or dinner. Curious about the background of polenta? Read all about it here .

For the polenta:

Cook the polenta according to package directions, follow Culy’s basic polenta recipe, or bake it in the oven. If you choose the oven, preheat it to 180 degrees. Grease a baking dish with oil or butter. In the bowl, mix the polenta with 0.8 liters of water, a dash of olive oil and a good pinch of salt.

Leave in the oven for about an hour until it has become a paste-shaped mass. After half an hour, when the water has been absorbed but the polenta is still soft, stir in 3 tablespoons of fresh thyme, freshly ground pepper and 50 grams of grated provolone. Then put the baking dish back in the oven.

Remove the polenta from the oven and let it cool. Cover and let the polenta set in the refrigerator for about 1 to 3 hours.

For the dressing:

Make a dressing from the olive oil, mustard, honey and orange juice. Cut the oranges into pieces and the red onion into half rings. Cook the lentils according to package directions and set them aside. Mix the lettuce with the cooled lentils, orange pieces and red onion. Only mix the dressing with the salad before serving (this will keep the lettuce crunchy).

Cut the stiffened polenta into thin slices about 1.5 cm thick, in a shape you like. Heat a generous amount of oil in a frying pan, wait until it is very hot and fry the polenta for at least 7 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. Place the baked polenta on a baking tray and spread the rest of the provolone cheese on top. Place briefly in the oven until the cheese has melted and serve immediately.

Source: Culy by
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