Crisp Polenta

Charlie serves polenta crisped in butter with a rack of lamb, but it goes well with any grilled or braised meat, like Philippe Boulot’s Seven-Hour Braised Leg of Lamb.


  • cups water
  • ½ cup polenta
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup Garlic Puree
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter


Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly add the polenta, stirring all the time. Simmer over low heat, while still stirring, for 30 minutes, or until the polenta is soft and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the garlic puree and 2 tablespoons of the butter into the cooked polenta and season again with salt and pepper.

Spread the polenta into a plastic wrap-lined 8-inch-square baking pan. Spread 1 tablespoon of the butter on top; cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

When the polenta is cooled and firm, cut it into four 3-inch circles. Cook the polenta rounds in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crisp.