Polenta is toddler-wonderful, because it’s the right texture and density for Maya, but the golden slabs are also delicious adult food. It’s incredibly easy to make, though it does take a bit of stirring.
It’s versatile, and this recipe makes enough for several meals. We like it many ways:
- with fried eggs over top (especially when gooey and just cooked);
- fried in slabs and under a Puttanesca or other spicy tomato sauce;
- as a soothing base for acidic tomato soup and sour cream;
- grilled in slabs and served under pan-roasted balsamic vegetables;
- with butter-sauteed mushrooms and caramelized onions;
- smeared with goat cheese and topped with roasted red peppers;
- smothered in eggplant caponata;
- under roast chicken and its stock; or
- covered in garlicky sauteed spinach, chopped fine.
6 cups (filtered) water
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 3/4 cups (organic) yellow cornmeal (using organic here is important, as most corn in the U.S. is genetically modified, and organic is non-GMO)
1 Tbl dried or fresh Rosemary (other herbs would work as well, of course)
2 Tbl (organic, grassfed) butter
1 1/2 cup grated cheese (I used fennel-seed Gouda, which was lovely; asiago, manchego, parmigiano-reggiano or some similarly flavorful hard yellow cheese would work well)
Heat the six cups of water in a large pot (I used an enameled cast-iron pot) and add the salt and rosemary.
Whisk in the cornmeal slowly. Reduce the heat to low and stir over the heat until thickened. Stir often, for about 20 minutes.