Polenta is a thick cornmeal mush served as a side dish to stew, or topped with vegetables, sauce, and/or cheese.

Yield 4 servings
Time 45 minutes
  • large saucepan with lid
  • whisk
  • wooden spoon
  • 1 Q water
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 c medium-grind, stone-ground/whole-grain cornmeal
  • 2 T butter or olive oil
Directions Boil water, add salt, and reduce heat to low. Add the cornmeal slowly and gradually, whisking constantly.

When all the cornmeal has been added and there are no lumps, cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until cornmeal no longer tastes “raw” – about 30-45 minutes.

Add butter or oil and salt to taste, and serve immediately.

Notes Variations (to be stirred in along with the butter or oil, just before serving):

  • ½ c Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ c goat or blue cheese
  • 1-2 T mascarpone (will make a very rich polenta)
  • 1-2 t fresh thyme or sage, minced

Vegetarian cookbookAdapted from Jack Bishop’s A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen: Easy seasonal dishes for family and friends.

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