Grilled Sausages with Polenta & Tapenade

Pairs Well With

Serves 3-4


Kosher salt

1 cup coarse-grain yellow polenta or cornmeal

1 cup chopped, oil-cured black olives

1 cup chopped Kalamata olives

 1 cup chopped California black olives

2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced

2 anchovy fillets, minced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

2 teaspoon grated orange zest

cup best-quality, extra-virgin olive oil

Black pepper in a mill

2 tablespoons butter

2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano or similar cheese, grated

sausages of choice


Pour 4 cups of water into a medium saucepan set over high heat, add a generous tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Using a whisk, stir the water in one direction to create a vortex; slowly pour the polenta into the vortex, stirring all the while. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to stir until the mixture thickens. Switch from a whisk to a wooden spoon and stir frequently until the polenta is very thick and tender; if it seems too thick, add more water, cup at a time.

While the polenta cooks, put the olives, garlic, anchovies, parsley, thyme and orange zest into a small bowl and toss together. Stir in the olive oil, season with black pepper, cover and set aside.

When the polenta is almost done, add the butter, cheese and about 3 tablespoons of the tapenade and stir well. Rinse a 6-cup mold in cold water, tip the polenta into it, agitate the pan to level the polenta, cover with a sheet of wax paper or aluminum foil and set aside for 30 minutes.

Cook the sausages on a ridged grill pan or an outdoor grill.

Invert the polenta onto a large, flat plate and lift off the mold. Cut the sausages in half, set them around the polenta, spoon tapenade on top of the polenta and serve right away.