Store-bought prepared polenta does the heavy lifting for this weeknight vegetarian dinner. The polenta is cut into cakes and lightly grilled for a subtle smoky flavor. The entire meal is rounded out with a summery salad of grilled corn, fresh tomatoes and basil.
Prepare a grill or grill pan for medium-high heat. Clean and oil the grill grates.
Wrap each ear of corn in damp paper towels and microwave the wrapped corn on high for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the paper towels and let the corn cool slightly.
Brush the corn with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, cut the polenta crosswise into 10 or 12 rounds. Brush the rounds on both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat, turning once or twice, until nicely marked and slightly softened, about 6 minutes total.
Whisk the 1/4 cup oil with the vinegar and garlic in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Invert a small bowl and place it in a large bowl. Hold one ear of corn vertically on the smaller bowl and, using a knife, cut the kernels off the cob. Repeat with the remaining ears of corn. Remove the small bowl.
Add the tomatoes and dressing to the corn; toss well. Fold in the basil and arugula, then season the salad with salt and pepper. Serve the salad with the grilled polenta, topped with jalapeño slices if desired.