Cheese Infused Fried Polenta with Garlic Sage Drizzle

It’s cold, dreary, and dark outside (daylight savings, where you at?), and I’m ready to relax and watch a movie with a home-cooked meal. This dish is so filling and satisfying, and sure to warm you up. Think of it as cornbread, but cheesy,  fried, and garlicified. The infused Brie has such a deep, earthy flavor and creamy texture that really sets this polenta apart from others, and complements the garlic and sage.

Whenever I’m craving something hearty and cozy, I always find myself leaning towards something fried.  To offset that, to make this dish a little healthier, we used coconut oil over butter, which also locks in more moisture. Pure, unrefined coconut oil has zero trans or hydrogenated fat, and a recent study has found that consuming coconut oil daily may increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind that may prevent heart disease and strokes). Unrefined coconut oil is also approximately 60% MCT’s, which may increase metabolism and satiety for those looking to lose weight. Don’t have coconut oil in your home? We have some here, with free shipping to your home!

img_4650The garlic/sage/crushed red pepper drizzle is made with olive oil, although you can use coconut oil if you’d prefer. These spices are able to deeply permeate the olive oil as it bakes, for a super flavorful drizzle (And look how pretty it is!). I love garlic in my cooking, and roasted garlic? Even better. Garlic can be used twice in this dish, both in the olive oil drizzle, and to be crushed and rubbed directly onto the polenta.  For a bit of a kick, you can sprinkle some red pepper flakes on to of the polenta as well.

A great thing about this ultimate comfort food is that it can be vegan and gluten-free friendly: just substitute the cheese for vegan cheese, and the conventional flour for gluten-free all-purpose flour.  Now, if you’re curious about the polenta, yes, it’s naturally gluten-free. Polenta is boiled cornmeal, which is made from dried corn kernels, and contain no gluten. The more you know, right?

Although the original recipe indicates this dish as an entrée, I think it is better suited as an appetizer. If you’d like to balance it out with some veggies, we recommend pairing it with our vegan blistered green beans, or mushrooms sautéed in the garlic sage olive oil.

Cheesy Polenta Ingredients:

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups polenta
  • 1/2 pound brie cubed*
  • 4 ounces grated parmesan cheese (we used a mix of both) *
  • 2 tablespoons butter (substitute Roots and All coconut oil for vegan version)
  • 2 cups flour (may substitute for gluten-free  all-purpose flour)
  • pepper to taste

*May substitute with vegan cheese

How to Make it:

  1. Bring water to a boil in a medium pan.
  2. When water begins to boil, whisk in polenta
  3. Stir frequently until polenta becomes tender and slightly thicker (about 15-20 minutes)
  4. Mix in cheeses, butter (or coconut oil),  salt and pepper. Stir until smooth.
  5. Grease a 8-9 inch square baking dish with coconut oil and spoon in polenta (use a spatula to level polenta to create a smooth surface)
  6. Cover and refrigerate while you move on to making the garlic sage oil.
  7. Once cooled, cut the polenta in to 9 squares and toss in flour.

Garlic Sage Oil Ingredients:

  • 4 cups olive oil (or coconut oil if you are so inclined)
  • 4 heads garlic
  • 1 large bunch fresh sage
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red peper flakes

How to Make it:

img_4650Once you have set your polenta pan in the fridge to solidify, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. To make the oil, slice the tops of each garlic head off and place flat onto a small baking dish. Pour the olive oil (or melted coconut oil) over the garlic and in to the pan. Add the bunch of sage, thyme, and crushed red pepper scattered around the garlic. Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 45 minutes. (Be prepared for your house to smell of sage <3) Once the oil has baked, pour the oil through a fine mesh strainer and into a frying pan of your choice. Turn your stove top on high and prepare for frying!


Begin to add the flour covered polenta squares into the hot oil, frying for about 3 minutes on each side (or until light brown). Once cooked to golden perfection, set each aside onto a plate covered in paper towels to absorb any extra oil.

To serve, crush and spread the roasted garlic cloves over each piece of polenta.

Show us your creation with the hashtag #tryrootsandall !

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