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??

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. 

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

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. 

Now back to these crunchy but chewy little dippers.

Basically, you make polenta. 

Polenta grits + water + stir.

Let it chill. 

Bake. Flip. Bake.

Spread on delicious garlicky goodness.



Share at a party.

Maybe this Sunday?

Or, turn into a dip-tastic dinner.

I choose option #2.

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!

Looking for a few easy sauce recipes?  Try these!

Happy weekend!