Appetizers Karista's Kitchen vegetarian

Crispy Polenta Bites

Crispy Polenta Bites with Creme Fraiche, Balsamic Glaze and Fresh Basil with DaVinci Pinot Grigio


There is an exciting new company in town and it’s called Little Lace Box!

The Little Lace Box features a new accessory/product created by an up-and-coming designer sent directly to you every other month. Get it here first, a special fashion accessory for you and/or your home. Also included in your box is a selection of name brand and boutique brand products and discounts exclusively for the fashion maven inside every woman.

Crispy Polenta Bites with Creme Fraiche, Balsamic Glaze, Fresh Basil and DaVinci Pinot Grigio

I’m certain you’re wondering why I’m promoting this darling little company?  I think it a clever idea and I’ve signed up.  It’s also the company my brilliant and talented sister started.   Quite the fashionista herself (I’m totally not, unfortunately) my sister kept discovering new designers and the loveliest of products she and her three girls loved.  So why not share these products with everyone?  Thus, Little Lace Box was born.

Of course, Little Lace Box will also be highlighting products for those of us who are kitchen-ware enthused.  Which is why I created this lovely little recipe for Little Lace Box.  A delightful and delicious nibble that’s almost fuss free.  Displays beautifully on your Hors D’oeuvres table, sitting in those gorgeous new serving dishes you’ve been wanting to use.  Or maybe a new serving board that’s become quite popular these days.

Every box is a beautiful surprise.  Go to the website and view the latest list of new designers and the products that will fill each box.

While visiting Little Lace Box website, don’t forget to like their Facebook page and Instagram for all the latest fashion and home accessory developments.  Big love and huge congratulations to my sis!  You rock!

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


Crispy Polenta Bites with Crème Fraiche, Balsamic Glaze and Fresh Basil


1 cup quick cook polenta

1/4 grated parmesan

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup crème Fraiche or sour cream (crème Fraiche is a French sour cream, usually a bit thicker than our sour cream here in the states)

1/2 cup good quality aged balsamic vinegar

Handful of fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the polenta to package directions.  Typically the brand I use is one cup polenta to three cups liquid.  I like to use an herbed vegetable broth for this recipe.  But half milk and water is also nice.  Gives it a creamier texture.  Just before the polenta is thickened add the 1/4 cup grated parmesan to the polenta. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

Oil or butter a medium size baking dish, 8×11 or 9×13 work well.  Pour the warm polenta into the baking dish and smooth the top.  Let it cool completely.  If I’m making this for a dinner party I’ll prepare the polenta and refrigerate overnight and then finish the recipe before serving.

Once the polenta has cooled, pop it out of the baking dish onto a cutting board or clean surface.  Using a small round or square cutter, cut bites out of the polenta.  I like these “bite sized” so a biscuit cutter is usually to big.  Once you’ve cut out as many small bites as you can, trim up the remaining polenta for test bites. 🙂

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.  When the oil is hot but not smoking, pan sear both sides of each polenta bite.  Drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet or plate.

In a small sauce pan heat the balsamic vinegar over low to medium heat and let it reduce by half, becoming thicker and more of a glaze.   I highly recommend pulling out the good balsamic vinegar for this recipe.  On occasion I can find a bottle of really good aged balsamic glaze that doesn’t have to be heated.  It’s already reduced.  I’ve found this at a few specialty markets, natural markets and Whole Foods.

Next, take the handful of fresh basil, stacking each leaf one on top of the other and roll into a cigar.  Slice the ends into what is called chiffonade. I’ve included some photos at the bottom of the recipe.

Place each bite on a platter or serving board.  Dollop or pipe crème Fraiche onto each bite.  Drizzle with the balsamic glaze and garnish with the basil chiffonade.  A sprinkling of sea salt on each bit is also lovely.

Serve immediately.

Basil Chiffonade

Basil Chiffonade



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  • Reply
    Rosemary Mullally
    March 11, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Great flavors.

    • Reply
      March 11, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      Thanks Rosemary! I certainly enjoyed snacking on them while taking the pictures. If you notice the end of the picture bottom right one is missing 🙂

  • Reply
    March 11, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    These are beautiful Karista. Delicate bites, definitely perfect for a dinner party! Love the combination of the polenta, herbs, creme fraiche and balsamic. You and your sister make a great creative team (I will check out the Little Lace Box website, fantastic idea!) x

    • Reply
      March 12, 2014 at 8:23 am

      Thank you Laura! Actually my sister is far more creative than I. I do food, she does everything else. Lol!

  • Reply
    Maria | Pink Patisserie
    March 11, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    What a gorgeous recipe Karista! I just love little bites and these look divine. I could likely make a meal out of them. Such an exciting new project for your sister! I’ll head over and check it out!

    • Reply
      March 12, 2014 at 8:24 am

      Thank you Maria! These bites are some of our favorite little starters. Obviously I really like them as I ate several while shooting the pictures. Lol! Do check out Little Lace Box! So much fun!

  • Reply
    Shut Up and Cook
    March 12, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Can I please come live at your house?!?

    • Reply
      March 13, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      Anytime my friend! 🙂

  • Reply
    March 22, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Yum. I used to do these for catering events. Great new start up company your sister is doing. Serious creative juices flowing.

    • Reply
      March 25, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      She has way more energy than I have! And definitely more creative. I’m excited for her 🙂

  • Reply
    Courtney Price
    April 15, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    These look absolutely delicious!!! Can’t wait to try them. The photography is stunning as well. Love your site!!

    • Reply
      April 15, 2014 at 6:58 pm

      Thank you so much Courtney! I so appreciate the kind comment. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 Delicious Wishes!

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