What Is Polenta?
Polenta is a porridge made of coarse- or medium-ground cornmeal common in Northern Italian cooking. Some polenta varieties include other grains like ground buckwheat or ground rice. A coarse-ground polenta yields a thicker mixture that is best for frying and baking until crispy, while a medium-ground polenta yields a creamy texture that makes a great side dish for stews or slow-roasted meats, like pot roast.
Simple Polenta Recipe
Prep Time10 min
Total Time40 min
Cook Time30 min
- 1 cup polenta (or medium-ground cornmeal)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, to serve (optional)
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)
- In a heavy-bottomed pot over high heat, bring 4 cups of water to a strong boil.
- Add the polenta to the boiling water in a steady stream, whisking continually.
- Once you’ve added all the polenta, reduce the heat to a simmer and continue whisking until the polenta no longer sinks to the bottom of the pot, about 2 minutes.
- Add salt and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until polenta is creamy, about 30 minutes.
- For a cheesy polenta, finish with butter and parmesan cheese. For a vegan polenta, add a drizzle of olive oil.
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