Pan Seared Polenta Appetizer with Anchovies and Olives Recipe

My blog has been put on hold as of late because I’ve been scrambling around for my wedding, which is happening in just 7 days. It’s hard to believe that it’s finally happening!

As you may understand, I’ll be largely away from my computer but I will continue to post some simple and healthy recipes from now until American Thanksgiving. These recipes are delicious, easy to prepare, and will be beautiful on your Thanksgiving or Christmas table. They’re designed to get your friends and family involved, no matter their cooking skill level. Enjoy!

p.s. If you follow me on twitter, #PM1111 is our official wedding hashtag. Connect with us!

Simple Thanksgiving by Melody Gourmet Fury

Get cooking!

Pan Seared Polenta Appetizer with Anchovies and Olives

Crispy and creamy, these polenta cakes are always a crowd’s favourite. The polenta can be prepared ahead of time, then wrapped and chilled in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve it, simply cut it into bite sized pieces and sear it in a hot pan with some olive oil. Served sizzling hot, these savoury mouthfuls will whet your choosiest guests’ appetites.

Cooling off the polenta with anchovies on top by Melody Gourmet Fury

Cooling off the polenta with anchovies on top

This is a very versatile recipe. Use your imagination and add whatever ingredients into the polenta base that you’d like. I usually start with a caramelized aromatic like fennel or leek. I build the flavour with something briny like anchovies and/or olives, followed by a hearty herb like rosemary or thyme. Play around and create your own flavour combinations.

Anchovy polenta with shallots, pan frying to golden brown by Melody Gourmet Fury

Pan frying the polenta to a crisp, golden brown


  • 1 leek, washed and sliced thinly (white part only)
  • 1 cup of polenta
  • 2 cups of  hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • several sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 cups of black olives, pitted
  • 1 can of anchovies, drained. Buy in bulk if available.
  • olive oil
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Tucked the anchovies into the polenta and added chopped olives for more punch by Melody Gourmet Fury

Tucked the anchovies into the polenta and added some chopped olives for more punch


  • In a hot pot, sauté the leeks in some olive oil until lightly golden brown.
  • Add the hot stock and water to the pot and bring to a rolling boil.  Using a whisk, whisk the polenta into the liquid.  Keep whisking to prevent lumps.
  • Cook the polenta over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon occasionally.
  • Remove from the heat, stir in the cheese, herbs, and olives. Lay the anchovy filets on top and push them slightly into the polenta.
  • Pour the polenta into an large, oiled glass dish (approx 9×9).  Allow the polenta to cool.
  • To serve: pull the polenta out from the dish and cut into desired sized pieces.  Pan sear until crispy and golden
  1. November 04, 2011 by ♔ Nick Routley

    Mmm, those look really fantastic.

  2. November 04, 2011 by Melody Fury

    Thanks dearest :) See you soon, Nick!

  3. November 06, 2011 by Linda

    I saw this in my reader earlier this week! I starred it. Had me at polenta and anchovies. 

    Congrats and good luck with the wedding!

    – Linda (

  4. November 08, 2011 by A Beautiful Life

    looks great! good luck with the final wedding prep

  5. November 08, 2011 by Melody Fury

    Thanks, dearest :)

  6. November 08, 2011 by Melody Fury

    Thank you so much :) give the recipe a try! xo

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