My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


For the latest details be sure to check my book page!  


Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free


« Fennel + Citrus Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette | Main | simple black bean dip »

roasted garlic polenta dippers

Here is an unknown fact about myself:

January 29th, 2013, was the very first time I’ve ever roasted a head of garlic.

There is absolutely no good reason for this, and now I’m kicking myself for waiting 29 1/2 years to try it.  What the heck??

roasted garlic polenta dippers // edible perspective

It’s not a complicated process.  All you have to do is cut the ends off, pour on butter/ghee/oil and roast for about 30 minutes.  Seriously, that’s it.

And then you’re left with these delectable little nuggets you see below. 

roasted garlic polenta dippers // edible perspective

Beyond cooking, photographing, photo editing, blogging, and working on edits for the book, I’m in the process of designing a new photography website.

I thought we were talking about garlic?  Nice segue, lady.

My old site was meant to be a quick placeholder that ended up place-holding for about 1 1/2 years.  Love how that happens.  I’m hoping to have it up + running in the next 2 weeks.  But for now, here is a preview of a few things you’ll soon find:

  • home page with sliding gallery
  • portfolio page – food
  • portfolio page – family – photos enlarge when thumbnail is clicked and are easily scrolled through
  • a handful of other portfolio pages

pages: home // about // pricing // contact // blog // portfolio [with drop down menu] // iPhone

photography website // edible perspective

My goal with the new site is a simple and straightforward design that really make the photos pop.  My current portfolio is in dire need of updating, so I cannot wait to launch this!

One other thing that definitely needs to happen in the near future is a logo design.  I feel like my design/graphic skills are decent, but when it comes to logos I’m always completely stumped!  I know I want something that is similar between edible perspective + ashley mclaughlin photography, but that’s about as far as I’ve gotten. 

roasted garlic polenta dippers // edible perspective

Now back to these crunchy but chewy little dippers.

roasted garlic polenta dippers // edible perspective

Basically, you make polenta. 

Polenta grits + water + stir.

Let it chill. 

Bake. Flip. Bake.

Spread on delicious garlicky goodness.



roasted garlic polenta dippers // edible perspective

Share at a party.

Maybe this Sunday?

roasted garlic polenta dippers // edible perspective

Or, turn into a dip-tastic dinner.

I choose option #2.

roasted garlic polenta dippers // edible perspective

Print this!

Roasted Garlic Polenta Dippers // gluten-free + vegan option // yields 21-24 dippers

adapted from: polenta pizza

  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 3-4 tablespoons ghee/butter/olive oil/earth balance, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked polenta grits
  • 3 cups water, unless otherwise specified on package
  • salt + pepper
  • marinara or pizza sauce

for the roasted garlic:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400* F.
  2. Peel the outer layers from the head, but let the skin on the individual cloves remain.
  3. Slice the tips off the head, so each clove is exposed.  Refer to the first photo in this post.
  4. Place on a sheet of foil, exposed side up, and pour 1 tablespoon melted butter, ghee, earth balance, or olive oil over top.
  5. Cover tightly with foil, place in an oven-safe ramekin [or other small oven-safe dish], and roast for 25-30 minutes, until tender.
  6. Let cool and squeeze each clove out from the skin.  Set aside.

for the polenta dippers:

  1. Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Cook polenta according to package directions with 1/4 teaspoon salt.  This can vary depending on if you have quick-cooking polenta or regular, so refer to your package.
  3. Cook until very thick and stiff.  It should be difficult to stir.
  4. Spoon into the parchment lined pan and spread it firmly + evenly to the edges.
  5. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes, or until fully chilled. 
  6. In the last 10 minutes of chilling, preheat your oven to 450* F.
  7. Remove the polenta from the pan and slice into dippers.  About 1 1/4 x 3 inches in size.
  8. Spread onto a large baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Flip and bake another 10 minutes.
  10. Chop the roasted garlic and combine with 2-3 tablespoons of melted ghee/butter/earth balance.
  11. Flip the dippers again, spread on the roasted garlic mixture, a generous sprinkle of salt + pepper, and bake for 3-5 minutes.
  12. Serve warm with dipping sauce of choice.

The edges become crispy and firm, while the inside remains chewy and tender.  Quite the combo!

roasted garlic polenta dippers // edible perspective

Looking for a few easy sauce recipes?  Try these!

Happy weekend!


Reader Comments (27)

Your photo site looks fantastic. Can't wait for the full version. Also: Ever since I made toasted cheese polenta, I've loved dunking it (then it was tomato soup). I'll have to make these this weekend . . . I've been eating SO MUCH BREAD, I think it's time for a change.
It looks delicious. I only discovered roasted garlic a few months back. Our local supermarket has solo garlic which is basically one giant bulb and perfect for roasting. You only have to peel one layer of skin at the end.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha
Your photography website looks like it's coming along gorgeously, congratulations!! No worries on being late to the realm of roasted garlic - better late than never and I can't think of a tastier recipe to use it in than your polenta dippers! Delicious snack!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulia
congrats on the photo website!! this may be super weird, but any chance you'd consider doing an indian wedding :) ? juuust wondering!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersheila
@Ashley - Thanks, Ash! I've been so excited while working on it. Can't wait to finish it! :)

@Julie - Thank you so much!

@Sheila - I'm definitely interested! Not weird at all! contact me if you'd like to talk further: edibleperspective AT gmail DOT com
February 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
I really adore your blog- I can't believe it took me so long to find it! Second day in a row that I'm printing the recipe right away!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
I love baked polenta and I love garlic...I definitely wouldn't need the superbowl as an excuse to make these (good thing too because I think I've seen precisely zero superbowls ever). Roasted garlic is amazing, isn't it? I always think it's so much more involved than it really is, but your post reminds me how gosh darn simple it is. I need to make some soon!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmilia
Girlfriend, website stuff knocks me on my butt every time - logos?! I don't even have the first clue.

AND I'm a little shocked that you just roasted garlic for the first time the other day. Of all people! :)
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHeather @ Heather's Dish
These look delicious! The shape kind of reminds me of fries, which makes me want to make them that much more. Polenta is such a great GF grain to work with!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
Congrats on the new photo site, I'm excited to see it!
For my photography business site, I ended up contacting a graphic designer for my logo + watermark. Anda at did mine, and she nailed exactly what I wanted, too. I can email you the link to my site if you'd like to see the logo (I'm still building it out a bit so keeping it out of blog world) - just shoot me an email!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdeva by definition
Yay for photography, can't way to see the new website!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjo @ including cake
I just roasted garlic for the first time like two weeks ago, so you're in good company :)
Cool idea to incorporate iPhone photos into your site. I was so impressed with your iPhone photography series!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @ Blonde Ambition
Oh man! Those looks so good. I love roasted garlic but I always forget how much I love it or I wait too long and am too hungry for dinner to wait.
Your photography amazes me everyday! Down right breath taking. Seriously.
Those polenta dippers look so yummy, I love polenta!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTieghan
Roasted heads of garlic is one of my all time favorite things to make and eat. Roasted garlic + crusty bread = heaven!
@Katie - Aw, thank you. I really appreciate that!

@Tieghan - You are too kind. Thank you!
February 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
So excited for the new website! And it's o.k. that you have never made roasted garlic before; I have never made polenta before! This may be the first recipe I need to try it in. :)
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
I'm so excited to see your new photography site! I even loved your placeholder site, so I'm sure this one will knock my socks off.

Polenta dippers! How fun are those little guys?
February 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Hey there,
We are in the process of redoing our website and getting ourselves into yr. 2013. Anyhoo, we are having Rocket Jones build us a content mgmt system. They are over La Luz in Old Town. It looks like you are good on the site design, but they hooked us up with Launie Parry @ Red Letter Creative to do the design. She is super nice has a cute office off Mulberry and works with a lot of people doing logos too. She is amazing and I think you would really like her clean and simple style. I also liked how she really listened to me and didn't think I was crazy when I showed up with a complete pinterest board full of ideas. Email me and I can give you her number if you are interested. :)
February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCara
@Cara - Thanks so much for the recommendation! Definitely going to check her out! :)
February 4, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
These are one of my absolute favourite things to eat (although I add a load of parmesan to the polenta mixture for extra indulgence). So, so tasty.
PS can't wait to see the full photography site - these little teasers are so beautiful. You have such talent.
February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn
I have a roll of pre-made polenta sitting in my pantry. Do you think it would come out the same to slice and bake that? Of course the shape would be different, but the taste/idea would be the same?
February 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHalley
sewgway, nope. segue, yes.
February 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpoulinskaya
@Poulinskaya - Ha! Whoops! I definitely wasn't riding a segway and indeed meant, "segue." Thank you! :)
February 19, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
Oh wow! These sound scrumptious. I think I'm going to try slicing some pre-made polenta and then adding the garlic before roasting the dippers. Thanks!
February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie @ In Natalie's Shoes
@Halley - Sorry for the delay in answering your comment! Yes, the taste/idea would still be the same! I think it could definitely work.
February 21, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
These roasted garlic polenta dippers looked delicious. Like you, I would also be turning it into a dip-tastic dinner so that I can make something really delish and exciting for my family. They would surely going to love this. Thanks a lot for the recipe.
April 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJudy Rogers

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.