Rosemary Grilled Scallops and Creamy Gruyère Polenta

Grilled scallops are covered in fresh rosemary and placed atop a pillow of creamy Gruyère polenta. This is backyard barbecue at the next level. For the seafood haters, we’ll have grilled lamb chops to grace the polenta, too. Don’t you fret.

There’s this panic that’s sort of lurking in the background, almost like a lump in my throat. The house that never seems to be picked up is, and yet I still focus on all the things that still need to be and should be done like vacuuming up a stray crushed peanut, spread through the living room by small, unexacting hands.

The lull of summer is coming, I can feel it, if only I can make it through the week.

Then after this week there’s camp and baseball and a parade the kids will walk in looking sweet and wearing their matching t-shirts. The next week is full, too, and I’m starting to wonder where the lull is running off to.

One day at a time.

It’s dinnertime, with a to-do list still mounded on the desk and several projects all in some state of completion but nothing quite there yet. Rather than being planned and prepared, I’ve been pondering all day about the food in the fridge. A neighbor stops in to say a quick hello that lasts more than the five minutes we both probably thought it would, the light is waning and the night slipping away.

Not wanting to give up on having a decent meal just because time is short and summer days have a way of getting away from you, there will be polenta and scallops tonight. Dinner will on the table in 25 minutes, small bellies will be full and sent to run in the yard with still a bit of light left in the day.

Start with the prep. It involves getting four cups of water boiling while you grate cheese and mince a bit of rosemary. Grating cheese by hand builds character. Once the water boils, slowly whisk in one cup of cornmeal. Mine happens to be yellow.

Lower the heat and simmer, stirring every once in a while for about 15 to 20 minutes.

While your polenta is cooking, we have the business of making scallops. First, toss them in some extra virgin olive oil and that rosemary you minced earlier.

Toss them on a searing-hot grill and flip them after 90 seconds or so to the next side. Another minute and they’re ready to come off, get wrapped in foil and rest for a bit. Your polenta should be about finished at this point as well.

To finish off the polenta, a bit of butter (Kerrygold, of course) and Gruyère are melted in.

Scallops top the polenta, and we’re ready to eat. Do you have any favorite last-minute summer meals for those days when the sun seems to make everything but time take longer than it should?

For the polenta:
4 3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 sprig rosemary
1 cup cornmeal polenta
3 tablespoons butter
5 ounces Gruyère, shredded

For the scallops:
1 pound fresh sea scallops
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Preheat grill to 600° F. Place water, salt and rosemary sprig in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and remove rosemary sprig. Slowly pour cornmeal into the water, whisking continuously to remove any lumps. Once all the cornmeal has been incorporated, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.

While the polenta is simmering, remove tendons from the scallops. In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Add scallops to the bowl and toss lightly to coat. Place scallops on the grill using tongs. They should sizzle as they hit the grill. Let them cook for 1-2 minutes until they start to brown lightly. Flip and cook one minute more until just cooked through. Remove from heat and let rest covered with foil for 2 minutes.

Once the polenta has reached a thick and smooth consistency, stir in the butter until melted. Add in the Gruyère a small handful at a time, stirring after each addition to melt. If the polenta seems a bit thick, thin slightly with milk or half and half, adding only 1-2 tablespoons at a time. Serve polenta topped with grilled scallops. Serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Copyright © Food for My Family.

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  1. Now that is my kind of last-minute meal. Gorgeous, Shaina. The lull of summer is a wonderful thing…you’re almost there!

  2. looks so wonderful, and its gluten free! is polenta from scratch difficult to make? how do you know if you have the right consistency?

  3. tracielee says:

    beautiful post…words, pics and dinner potential! Thanks for a summer moment on what is a dull day here.

  4. Fabulous photos and an amazing meal. This looks so good!

  5. This looks so delicious 🙂

  6. Shaina you had me at grilled scallops – but this creamy sauce is gorgeous!! Wish I could pop over there like now, even though it is breakfast time 😉

  7. SO beautiful Shaina! I love every single detail about this recipe. 🙂

  8. I just made these for dinner tonight. Divine. Love the smokiness that comes from grilling the scallops over charcoal. We hard fresh picked asparagus as a side and Hubs almost licked his plate clean. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Wow….I love cheese grits with my fish. I bet those? scallops would go great with cheese grits. I absolutely have to try this.

  10. That, my friend, looks like perfection on a plate…or a bowl. I’m pretty sure I’ll be dreaming about it tonight. 😉

  11. How elegant! Love scallops and have been craving them. Will have to try this one out. Bravo.

  12. oh my lord…this sounds amazingly delicious!

  13. It never ceases to amaze me how often we think alike. Polenta is on the menu tonight at hour house too! But now you have sparked my creativity. Mine would have been less exciting than this one 🙂

  14. Hey girl wanna link this & any two other entrees up to our Get Grillin’ event this week? We have a fun Ile De France giveaway going on 🙂

  15. That sounds amazing! I’m totally adding Gruyere to my polenta next time.

  16. Food Lover says:

    YUMM can’t wait to try it! Maybe I’ll make it while I watch “Extreme Chef” on the Food Network on Sunday, June 26th at 10:30pm/9:30c!! Check it out!!!

  17. This looks way better than the burger that I am about to eat. Brian loves scallops, so I’ll have to give this a try next week.

  18. Sounds delicious however, I was always taught to make my polenta with milk instead of water. Having tried both, I’ve found that polenta made with milk is creamier and tastier, not to mention more nutritious. Use a simple 4:1 ratio and stir constantly – don’t let the milk burn!

  19. Posts like this make the internet such a taerusre trove

  20. This looks absolutely fabulous! So thankful for Pinterest reviving such truly wonderful recipes!


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