Garlicky Polenta Fries

Garlicky Polenta Fries Recipe

Every year, the garlic festival is held the last weekend of July, in Gilroy, California. I think Lulu, the girls and I are going to attend this year.

Today I was inspired by the upcoming garlicky event to make something to keep away the vampires. I sliced a slab of polenta into the shape of French fries and flavored the golden polenta fries with parsley and fried garlic. I nestled them in a cone of parchment paper. The sweet smell of garlic is intoxicating. They can be served as a snack and they also make a wonderful summer side dish for any type of grilled meat. Plus, they are more nutritious than plain old fries.

The girls were fooled and mistook the polenta fries for potato fries due to their crispy exterior and golden color. I’ll have to make more; they were fighting over the crumbs!

You can catch me live today on Blog Talk Radio. I'll be talking about my favorite sandwiches and of course my new cookbook "Banh Mi" Wednesday, July 10th at 4:30 p.m EST.


Yields: 4 servings

1 (18-ounce) package pre-cooked polenta
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup vegetable oil
⅛ teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons curly parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt (or regular salt)


For garlic: Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan. Add the garlic, then lower the heat. Cook for about 2 minutes. As soon as the garlic start sizzling, transfer to a mortar and pestle, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan. Add the parsley, cumin, sugar, salt and black pepper to the garlic. Coarsely grind the fragrant mixture. 

For the polenta:

Cut the polenta into 1-inch slices, then cut each slice into quarters. Brush them with oil.

In the same non-stick pan, heat the oil. Pan-fry the polenta pieces for 5 minutes until golden and crispy, stirring occasionally. 

Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan. Season with salt. Toss well.

Assembly time: Transfer to a serving platter. Season with the garlic salt mixture. 

Serve immediately.

Bon appétit!


 I used garlic and basil polenta. You can find it at Trader Joe's.

If you're not allergic to gluten, you could sprinkle the polenta fries with a dusting of all-purpose flour prior to frying them.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on July 10, 2013.


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