Baked Polenta Fries

I seem to go for long stretches without making polenta, but whenever I do, I remember all over again how wonderful it is.

I made a pot of herbed polenta a couple of days ago in my Electric Pressure Cooker. I love cooking it this way, because it gets super creamy, much like mashed potatoes, in just a few minutes. What I especially enjoy is that the cooking is completed with very little help from me, which is awesome if, like me, you are a chronic multi-tasker. But stovetop polenta works just fine too, so use whichever method makes sense for your busy household.

Polenta is great freshly prepared, and if you want to stop there, you will be plenty happy.

But polenta that has been allowed to rest or chill, opens up a whole new set of possibilities. Once cooled, polenta becomes firm enough to slice into shapes, which allows you to grill it, bake it into croutons, or in this case, create Polenta Fries. 

My daughter and my husband both thought they didn’t like polenta, until I made these. I have served them with warm marinara sauce and with ratatouille and both are fantastic. These can be oven-baked – or tossed into your Air Fryer to become extra crispy.

BAKED POLENTA FRIES

1 small onion, chopped
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
1 cup coarse polenta
1 bay leaf

First, make the polenta!

Stovetop Instructions

Dry sauté the onion in a saucepan. Once the onion is translucent, add the broth or water, salt, parsley and basil. Sprinkle the polenta over the top. Add bay leaf. Do not stir.

Cook the polenta according to package instructions.

Turn off the heat. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Whisk the polenta until smooth.

Carefully pour hot polenta into a heat-proof baking pan. Allow to come to room temperature, or chill in the refrigerator.

Once completely set, cut polenta into French Fry stick shapes, approximately 1/4-inch (or 1/2-inch) x 3-inches each.

Proceed to bake Polenta Fries, either in the oven or Air Fryer, as described below.

Electric Pressure Cooker Instructions

Dry sauté the onion on the Sauté or Brown setting. Once the onion is translucent, add the broth or water, salt, parsley and basil. Sprinkle the polenta over the top. Add bay leaf. Do not stir.

Lock the lid in place and bring to high pressure. Cook for 5 minutes. Allow the pressure cooker to naturally release for 10 minutes, and then release any remaining pressure.

Remove and discard the bay leaf. Whisk the polenta until smooth.

Carefully pour hot polenta into a heat-proof baking pan. Allow to come to room temperature, or chill in the refrigerator.

Once completely set, cut polenta into French Fry stick shapes, approximately 1/4-inch (or 1/2-inch) x 3-inches each.

Proceed to bake Polenta Fries, either in the oven or Air Fryer, as described below.

Next, make the Polenta Fries!

Baked Polenta Fries – in the Air Fryer

Place polenta strips in the Air Fryer, and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or just until crispy and golden brown.

Serve immediately with either warm marinara sauce or with ratatouille.

Baked Polenta Fries – in the Oven

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake polenta strips on a nonstick baking sheet or griddle for about 20 minutes, or just until crispy and golden brown.

Serve immediately with /either warm marinara sauce or with ratatouille.

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