A selection of date, blue cheese & pancetta polenta stacks on a serving tray

Date, blue cheese & pancetta polenta stacks

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(0 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 20 mins Plus 1 hr chilling


Serves 6-8 (makes 16)

Serve these date, blue cheese and pancetta polenta stacks as canapés at a party. Try a veggie twist by using chopped toasted nuts instead of pancetta for crunch

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: Per serving (8)

  • kcal258
  • fat14g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs25g
  • sugars16g
  • fibreg
  • protein7g
  • salt1g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 8 thin pancetta rashers, halved



    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus a little for the tin and for brushing
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 500ml vegetable stock made with 2 tsp bouillon powder
  • 100g quick-cook polenta



    An Italian storecupboard staple, polenta has its roots in the peasant cuisine of northern Italy…

  • 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 25g parmesan (optional)



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 120g creamy but sharp blue cheese such as Saint Agur or gorgonzola
  • 8 large medjool dates, pitted and cut in half lengthways
  • handful baby spinach leaves (you’ll need 32 leaves)
  • pomegranate molasses, to drizzle


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6. On a baking tray, sandwich a single layer of pancetta rashers between two pieces of parchment, then weigh it down with a second tray (this will stop it wrinkling as it cooks). Bake for 10-15 mins until the fat is crisp and golden. Pat with kitchen paper to absorb any excess fat. The pancetta can be cooked a day ahead and chilled. Reheat before serving.

  2. Oil a 20cm round tin. Boil the stock in a saucepan, then slowly stir in the polenta and simmer for 5 mins, whisking, until thick and smooth. Stir in 1 tbsp oil, the rosemary and parmesan, if using, and season. Spoon the mixture into the tin, level the top, then set in the fridge for at least 1 hr in the fridge or until very firm. 

  3. When ready to eat, heat a griddle pan or non-stick frying pan until hot. Cut the set polenta into 16 wedges, brush with a little oil, then cook for 4 mins on each side or until golden and marked. Transfer to a serving plate or board. The polenta can be griddled a day ahead. Reheat it in a hot oven for a few minutes before serving.

  4. Meanwhile, use a cutlery knife to push about 1 tsp cheese into the middle of each date half. Thread a cocktail stick through each stuffed date, then add a piece of pancetta, two spinach leaves and a wedge of hot polenta. To serve, drizzle with a little of the pomegranate molasses.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
Be the first to comment...We'd love to hear how you got on with this recipe. Did you like it? Would you recommend others give it a try?
Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?