Breakfast Polenta

Breakfast Polenta Recipe


This breakfast polenta just edged out the do-it-youself waffle bar as my favorite crowd-pleasing brunch component. I love the idea of making a big pot, keeping it warm over a low burner (or crockpot!), and offering up a range of toppings, sweet and savory, for friends to choose from. It is creamy and comforting, and receptive to many add-in flavors and textures. For this version I served small bowls of fluffy yellow polenta topped with toasted almonds, jewel-colored dried fruits, and a drizzle of cream and honey.

Considerations: While you can certainly get away with using an instant polenta (and in turn much shorter cooking times), treat yourself to real deal, stone-ground, coarse polenta this time around. Keep in mind that each polenta has its own personality, required cooking time, and quirks (based on factors like the size of the grind, how long its been around, etc). The reward for a bit of patience is a loose, creamy, beautifully textured final polenta eagerly awaiting a dollop, swirl, or sprinkling of your favorite ingredients. Again, its great for a mixed-crowd brunch because the polenta itself in this case is dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, I think it can qualify as gluten-free if you buy the polenta from the right source (maybe the GFers can help me out here)....I'm going to add a list of brunch-friendly toppings below here:

Breakfast Polenta Bar, topping ideas:

- toasted almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts
- all manner of berries
- a drizzle of this blueberry maple syrup
- Rosewater Plum Compote
- poached eggs
- chopped herbs
- cream or even better, an infused cream
- chopped dates or dried fruit
- re-hydrated, chopped sun-dried tomatoes

Add any other ideas in the comments and I can eventually add those ideas to the list as well. Also, be sure to check back on Thursday, I have the next favorite cookbooks list going up and its a great one!

 
 
 
 

Breakfast Polenta Recipe

You can use any sort of dried fruit you like. I picked up a little bag of dried friar plums, and bright yellow pears at the market and used them this time around. Chopped dates are tasty as well. I used Bob's Red Mill Polenta, they also sell polenta with the nutritious germ still intact labeled as coarse stoneground cornmeal - slightly different beast. The later being the more "whole" option.

4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarse polenta (not quick cooking)

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup dried fruit, chopped
honey
cream

Bring the water to a boil. Stir in the salt and polenta. Stir and stir and stir. Reduce the heat (you might want to wear an apron as the polenta has a tendency to spurt and spit). Simmer for at least 30-35 minutes, if the polenta gets too thick and starts to dry out along the way, just stir in more water 1/4 cup at a time. You can cook the polenta for much longer if you like (again, great for a brunch scenario), just keep stirring in
splashes of water as needed. In the end I like my breakfast polenta to be on the loose side, thick enough to coat a spoon, but loose enough that it has trouble holding shape. Serve warm in bowls topped with almonds, dried fruit, a drizzle of honey and cream (or other toppings).

Serves about 4

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Your Comments


Karen Gordon
February 25, 2008

Polenta is indeed gluten free.. and it looks yummy!!

I'm a GF-er.. but just found out that I also have an allergy to corn!! Oh well!

 

Maggie
February 25, 2008

I've made polenta with my Italian friends for a lazy dinner. With different types of savory additions - like lamb stew or gorgonzola and wine-steeped figs. I never thought about using it at a breakfast, but will definitely try that in March, before it gets too warm for polenta. Thank you for the idea, Heidi!

Maggie

 

angela
February 25, 2008

mark bittman does a wonderful polenta topped with olive-oil fried eggs--we have it for dinner during the winter. my daughter has been eating it since age two--it is THAT good:) so try heidi's polenta with eggs. yum.

 

Shadia Oshodi
February 25, 2008

Intriguing... a upscale Cali twist to what any good southerner knows as grits. Primary difference being the use of yellow corn instead of white. Often time grits are served with sweet toppings as well, maple syrup or brown sugar and of course the obligatory pat (or 2) of butter.

 

gillian
February 25, 2008

I may be mistaken, but I think polenta is the Italian form of what Southerners call grits - and it has long been a favorite breakfast item (if I have the willpower to wait the allotted time). This, then, opens it up to all sorts of interpretations, from adding sharp cheddar cheese, topping with shrimp/bacon/green onions, swirling in maple syrup (kid friendly)... and then slicing and toasting (or broiling) the leftovers to make a tasty side for a lunch salad or dinner (think of it alongside a stew or ragout). To gild the lily, try making the grits with 1 part milk (some add cream) to make them creamier...

 

Maninas
February 25, 2008

Now that's interesting! I would never think to make a porridge-like version of polenta... Btw, in Dalmatia, we eat it with a fish stew, with yoghurt or with tomato sauce (great combo). Do try the tomato versions!

 

Christine
February 25, 2008

I know that cooking steel-cut oats overnight in a crock pot on low works really well -- I wonder if stone-ground, coarse polenta could be prepared that way too. In fact, grits can be made that way, all day on low in a crock pot, so I bet coarse polenta would be fine too.

I've been lurking without commenting for a long time -- so let me say thank you, Heidi, for an inspiring mix of vegetarian food. Always inventive and delicious!

 

Melanie
February 25, 2008

I actually prefer grits to polenta, but does anyone know whether there any difference in the nutritional value/wholeness of polenta grains as opposed to hominy grits? It seems like over the past few years polenta has surpassed grits in popularity. Just wondering if there's a reason why or if it's simply a taste issue...

 

Jen
February 25, 2008

Yum! This is way up my alley! I love the ritual of breakfast, but dislike the overly sweet, sugar filled items typically found on the breakfast table. I might opt for a topping of egg, sun-dried tomato, spinach, and a little parsley.

 

Pat Howard
February 25, 2008

I serve this for breakfast at my B&B, topped with a poached egg, dollops of mascarpone and bits of crisped prosciutto, and it's very popular. I like your idea of offering a variety of toppings and your rosewater-plum compote sounds especially divine!

 

Roz
February 25, 2008

How coincidental! This morning a friend made a rice porridge...rice, corn, oats, wheat...not much difference. But we decided to 'congee' it up by adding grated fresh ginger and each individual added what they wanted....some wanted maple syrup, others wanted fish sauce, cilantro, and a peanut sauce with scallions! All very yummy and just a riff on the porridge idea!

Thanks, Heidi, for sharing.

 

Fatemeh
February 25, 2008

Cheese (a bit of crumbled gorgonzola or grated asiago)! Mascarpone! Crisped, crumbled pancetta!

(Can you tell I'm a savory breakfast person?)

 

Natalie
February 25, 2008

This looks amazing. I am always so impressed by how beautiful everything looks and once I test it out, how wonderful it tastes. You have definitely inspired me to eat more locally and wholesomely.

I have always wondered though, what do you always have on-hand in your pantry. I would love you to do a post with a pantry list or your favorite pantry secrets. Keep the great recipes coming.

 

Patsy
February 25, 2008

Zingerman's in Ann Arbor used to (I was in college there years ago, but they probably still do) serve a breakfast polenta with honey, pine nuts, and raisins. At home, I use an Italian (sorry, not local!) chestnut honey and I first sautee the raisins in a little butter to plump and caramelize. YUM!

 

skeip
February 25, 2008

There is a big difference between Hominy Grits and Polenta, or ground corn meal. Grits are treated with a strong alkali solution which softens the grain and removes the hull prior to drying and grinding. This treatment also enhances the nitritional value, making it an important staple for many cultures. In untreated corn the niacin in the grain is not available which can lead to pelagra, a niacin deficency disease. This is also the same treatment for the corn used in masa harina, used in making tortillas. So unless corn is your staple grain, you probably don't have to worry about the difference. Both are wonderful additions to you diet.

 

Joanna
February 25, 2008

Scrumptious idea. I've had savoury polenta at breakfast but never sweet! I get into breakfast rituals which I love, but sometimes they turn into breakfast ruts. Right now I have been back on the banana-muesli train for a while, might be time for a change! Weekday mornings will require instant polenta but I agree, as with oatmeal, the longer it takes to cook, the better.

I'm making your hazelnut and chard ravioli salad this evening... loved it last time.

 

michelle
February 25, 2008

i love it! there's been a spate of posts around the interweb about using non-oat grains as a breakfast base that i'm just loving.

i really like the idea of the fruits and nuts, but i'm especially drawn to the poached egg - it would be awesome to fry up some polenta and top the crispy squares with the creamy egg...yum.

i'm hosting brunch sunday and have been thinking about something to make beside my old standard. i think i found it. thanks!

-- michelle @ Us vs. Food

 

Elaine
February 25, 2008

Oh wow, amazing photo. I like the idea of bk polenta... I might experiment with the concept.

 

lifeinrecipes
February 25, 2008

This looks like a comforting breakfast for a blustery winter's day. The polenta is so sunny and cheerful.

 

Christy
February 25, 2008

I like polenta better than grits, though I do like them both. Polenta seems to me to have more flavor. I like to eat both of them with maple syrup.
When I cook polenta for a breakfast food, I like to cook it with half milk and half water, so it gets beautifully creamy. Then when I have any leftover, I let it solidify in the refrigerator and later slice it and fry it in butter. Delicious!

 

Anonymous
February 25, 2008

Yum! I *love* the idea of a polenta bar!

I grew up eating grits almost daily, and they're still one of my all-time favorite comfort foods (just with lots of butter, salt & pepper).

I like that polenta is so popular now, because it used to be so hard to find grits (or anything grits-like) in restaurants outside the Southeast.

I wish it were mandatory for every restaurant serving brunch to have grits (or polenta).

YUM.

 

amanda
February 25, 2008

I hate to admit it but I have never eaten polenta before in my life and that picture makes me want to try it ASAP! But I'm confused. Is polenta made from yellow cornmeal? I guess I just don't know what I need to make my own homemade polenta instead of the quick cooking one

 

Jamie
February 25, 2008

Heidi, I've been lurking for a while now, but I had to laugh when you did a polenta post the day after I did mine. It must be something in the air (not that we're breathing the same air being on different coasts...).

Anyway, I'm envious of your photography skills and tend to pull inspiration from your recipes. I just bought some poppyseeds because your pancakes look so yummy!

 

Amy
February 25, 2008

I've done grits but never thought of polenta for breakfast. What a great idea!

 

Joanna in the kitchen
February 25, 2008

It looks so yummy. I always thought about polenta as of sth savoury rather than sweet. Thanks very much for such a great inspiration :-)

 

joanieji
February 25, 2008

To add a bit of clarity to the discussion-- regular corn grits and/or polenta are ground from whole dried corn kernels. The grits some of the others posting have mentioned could be 'hominy' grits which are the 'skinned' kernels of corn such as those used to make masa for tamales and corn tortillas. The dried kernels -yellow or white - are soaked in wood ash or lye, (yep the same stuff to make soap) thoroughly rinsed and then left whole to make 'big' hominy (posole, etc.) or ground to make 'little' hominy grits. Hominy grits are a whole 'nother thing than corn grits. Similiar but not the same!

 

Liz
February 25, 2008

Where I come from, we call this cornmeal mush -- a breakfast staple! Make a really big batch. Day one, you eat it as a porridge, with brown sugar and milk. Then spoon the leftovers into a buttered glass loaf pan, chill overnight. Day two, you slice the loaf into 1/2-inch-thick slices, dredge in flour, and fry in butter until crispy, golden brown on all sides. Serve with maple syrup.

 

bitchincamero
February 25, 2008

There is nothing better than poached eggs over polenta. Bonus points for a hard, salty cheese grated over the top or stirred into the polenta at the last minute!!!

 

Karina
February 25, 2008

Hey Heidi- Finding a gluten-free polenta source isn't easy. I wish Bob's Red Mill would grind their cornmeal and polenta in their dedicated gluten-free facility. Until they do, however, I have been using Arrowhead Mills brand with no problem.

Lovely photo!

 

Karen
February 25, 2008

Oh, yum. I love the idea of a savory breakfast polenta with sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and a poached egg on top!

I might just have to throw a brunch party soon.

 

Anna
February 25, 2008

Who would have thought it? Perhaps I'll have to stray away from the porridge....

 

Allison
February 25, 2008

Sound delicious. Some other riffs on toppings could include:
*grilled (or sauteed) mushrooms
*balsamic glazed fresh figs
*arugula
Thanks for your delicious posts - keep them coming!

 

justcorbly
February 25, 2008

My mother, who was born on a farm just before the Depression, used to recall eating the same thing for breakfast, and other meals, when times were tough. She called it "mush" and doctored it with sugar, butter, and cold milk just recently provided out in the barn.

In the midwest, some chain restaurants like Bob Evans still have fried mush on the menu, and tubes of it sell in some markets. I suppose if the labeled it "Polenta" they could triple the price.

In parts of Africa, corn meal is a staple. In and around South Africa, it's called "mealie meal" and is often served in a bowl with sour or femented milk.

 

JEP
February 25, 2008

Mmm...sounds warm & comforting on a cold winter's day! Like the suggestion of preparing it with part dairy for some extra creaminess. I go for the sweet toppings.

 

alison
February 25, 2008

hi heidi - when i was back hom in scotland on vacation i ate at a porridge bar (in a van - like a taco truck) - they had some interesting toppings which would work with polenta: http://www.stoatsporridgebars.co.uk/menu.html

 

Maggie
February 25, 2008

I love this idea! It would be great for a crowd and love the idea of poached eggs and herbs with polenta for breakfast. Yum! How about nut butters as well as whole nuts? I love coconut butter with fresh grated ginger on hot cereal. I'm sure several nut butters would be great swirled into polenta along with berries.

 

Denise
February 25, 2008

I have been wanting to ask for a long time but have been embarrassed to ask... What is polenta? I don't even know what "grits" are...

I know what oatmeal is and I also know what "cream of wheat" is - Is polenta like the product "cream of wheat"?

 

JustCorbly
February 25, 2008

Denise, polenta is ground cornmeal, so "cream of corn" would be a good description.

Polenta often replaces pasta in Italian cooking, especially, I believe, up north.

Sometimes polenta is used as Heidi does here. It can also be shaped into something like a little loaf of bread, chilled, and then cut into slices to be sauted, etc.

Cooked ground cornmeal is consumed across the planet under a variety of names.

Grits is a southern U.S. dish prepared from dried hominy, which, in turn, is made by soaking dry corn kernels in lye. (Yum). It's a common breakfast side dish (I like it with butter and pepper), but some chefs do nifty things with it as part of an entree.

 

amy
February 25, 2008

wow! I was browsing the Martha Stewart site and was impressed that she links to your site in her "sites we like" area! How cool is that?? I love both your cookbooks and was also pleased to see our local barnes and nobles carries them. I love to give them as gifts! Also, love it when you have other people's favorite cookbooks! So much useful information! hugs Amy

 

Stephanie
February 25, 2008

A crockpot overnight sounds awesome... how nice to wake up to a homemade breakfast!

 

Courtney
February 25, 2008

Yay polenta! I've had some in the cupboard for ages and keep meaning to make it but it never happens. But I LOVE the idea of a do-it-yourself breakfast bar --and breakfast for dinner always rocks, so I'll set that up for tonight! Thanks Heidi :-)

 

Jane
February 25, 2008

Now I hope I don't offend anyone here, but grits were just something I never had any desire to try. I have been staring at this picture for the last few minutes, craving that bowl of polenta. And we just finished dinner a few minutes ago, so I am not at all hungry!

Jane of VeganBits.com


Jane
February 25, 2008

Now I hope I don't offend anyone here, but grits were just something I never had any desire to try. I have been staring at this picture for the last few minutes, craving that bowl of polenta. And we just finished dinner a few minutes ago, so I am not at all hungry!

Jane of VeganBits.com

 

Janice
February 25, 2008

To avoid the heavy stirring after adding the polenta to hot water, mix the polenta in cold water first , then add this mixture to the boiling hot water. Thats the caribbean way of preparing polenta for breakfast or dinner.

 

Jessica "Su Good Sweets"
February 25, 2008

I make breakfast polenta in the microwave (1/4 cup cornmeal with 1 cup of water and okara. Microwave for 3 minutes, stir half-way through cooking and add a little more water if needed). Then I slather Nutella on top!

 

Lois
February 25, 2008

I never had polenta, but from the sounds of it, it is much like grits. Grits can be used for breakfast as a cereal, with eggs - much like using potatoes - with butter, salt & pepper, and it can be put in a loaf, sliced, floured and fried, but it does pop a lot when you fry...and it sounds like you can use it like Heidi suggests - as the start of a breakfast bar. I have used corn meal to make a concoction like grits, and it tastes similar. If polenta is cornmeal, just ground differently, it would only make sense that it would taste similar.

 

Jeanne S. Gorfine
February 25, 2008

My grandmother, who came from Romania, used to make us "mamaliga" for breadfast - cornmeal mush with dollops of creamy cottage cheese and dabs of butter. As a vegan, I use dairy free margarine and grated vegan cheddar cheese. It may not be as wonderful as mamaliga, but is still wonderfully satisfying. I can't wait to try some of the other toppings, especially sweet ones. Thanks for a wonderful website.

Jeanne

 

Allen
February 25, 2008

I made mine recently with a swirl of yogurt and blueberry preserves -- it was so amazingly good. This is definetly a wonderful breakfast idea with so many possible variations. I also like firm polenta fried in a bit of butter with maply syrup.

 

Ellen
February 25, 2008

What? You don't refrigerate it and then slice it and fry it up? That's how we do cornmeal for breakfast. :) They call it fried mush but that just sounds gross. But fry it in a bit of butter and put and put some maple syrup on it and YUM!

 

Ellen
February 25, 2008

(Different Ellen here)

That's cornmeal mush! Old American food...they ate it in the Little House books...and we always ate it growing up, with brown sugar and milk for breakfast. Didn't hear of "polenta" (and its fancy dinnertime incarnations) until much later.

 

Mansi
February 25, 2008

Looks like something I could try:) btw, I too posted Cranberry-Walnut eggless breakfast scones on my blog today:)

 

Snehal
February 25, 2008

I have yet to try polenta!! Shame on me!! Maybe I can start with this brekkie dish, I do need to eat healthier ..lol

 

Joe
February 25, 2008

Interestingly enough, this recipe is very similar to the mealie-meal porridge that I grew up on.

Here in Zimbabwe (where maize meal is the staple) this porridge is normally eaten with peanut butter, stirred in just after adding the mealie meal to the simmering salted water.

 

YOYO Cooking
February 26, 2008

YUM!!!

 

LUNA
February 26, 2008

Ok so Polenta and Grits and Hominy and Mush are all things I hear on TV or read in books, but thanx to the Net, I can now relate it to what we have here down in South Africa... and other parts of Africa too. We call it "mielie pap" mielie being dutch for maize and pap for porridge. It's mostly made from white maize here though, but I guess the taste is the same.

We grow up on it... my grandfather had "pap" every day of his life my mom tells me... We have it with "braai's" or bbq's slathered with a tomato relish as a side dish... or baked into a tart with the same tomato relish and some cheese on top (u can spice it up as u like with bacon and spices... sort of like lasagne) or sweet with milk and butter and sugar for breakfast. But mostly its just a side dish, like rice or pasta.

You can make "mieliemeelkoekies" or corn meal biscuits. Or bake it into a bread. We don't fry it... never even thought of doing it but I sure will try it one day!

One would think that with it being such a major part of the local diet that everybody would know how to make it, but alas... I have NO clue as they seem to not think it is important to put the instructions on the packet... for crying out loud! Here even men know how to make "pap" but I have to ask my mother every time I try...

I have seen polenta in the shops though... next to the pasta's and I often wondered what that was used for... Thank you Heidi for exposing me to new things and giving me new ideas to liven up our standard "mielie pap" in ways I've never even considered! I will try the maple syrup and the nuts idea... with maybe a pinch of cardamom or cinnamon? YUMMY...

 

Rossella
February 26, 2008

I love polenta. In my region (Friuli-Italy) is the basic food. Even my boyfriend here in Rome has discovered the pleasure of polenta.
But I've think about polenta in the breakfast. Absolutely to try

 

Ilirskitrg
February 26, 2008

Sweet polenta - yeeeeeks!

 

Sharyn
February 26, 2008

I really like the idea of such a versatile breakfast, sound like loads of fun.

Heidi, have you ever heard of Sri Lankan Egg Hoppers and String Hoppers? They were my very first reason for going to Sri Lanka.

They are had for breakfast and the 'batter' needs fermenting overnight.

The egg hopper is a very fine pancake only cooked on one side...with an egg cracked into the top. String hoppers is a nest of stringy...um...noodles, really and both are usually served with a creamy-coconut based curry. And a pot of tea. I couldnt help trying an egg hopper with Marmite.

 

Michelle
February 26, 2008

Wow, that's a great way of doing a healthy breakfast. More than any other meal, breakfast is something people always ask me about. Marketers do such a good job of pushing processed, sugar-filled breakfasts for people on the go. This is something you could eat all week if you made a lot of polenta on Monday and reheated with new toppings every morning.
http://doesabodygood.blogspot.com/2008/01/breaking-your-fast-gently.html

 

Pat Howard
February 26, 2008

I meant to add in my original post that I cook polenta in my slow cooker - the process is longer but there is less active work. Pour the polenta, water and salt into the slow cooker in the evening, cover and let it cook on low overnight. In the morning, stir in a bit of butter and perhaps some Parmesan, and breakfast is ready!

 

shauna
February 26, 2008

Heidi, you always make me hungry. Can I please come over for breakfast?

Thanks for mentioning the possibility of some cornmeals having gluten. Yes, it's possible. It's the cross-contamination from gluten products in the same factory that we have to worry about. (Karina already pointed out the Bob's Red Mill problem, which is a real shame!)

However, there are some great cornmeals out there. I love Moretti from Italy, where they really know how to make polenta. This company has been making polenta-ready cornmeal for nearly 100 years, and as is true throughout Italy, they only focus on one product. it's gorgeous.

Also, i just spoke to the good folks at Anson Mills, who make delicious heirloom varieties of corn and other products. Even though they do make wheat flour, they make it in a separate room. The fact that the man at customer service knew so much about gluten-free? Fantastic.

So those are both great options, for anyone interested in polenta.

But Heidi, when are you going to come up to Seattle and share polenta with me?

 

carrie
February 26, 2008

Now Heidi... come on! This is GRITS!!! Not polenta... that's just a fancy word for what they really are... GRITS (which can be made from hominy OR regular dried corn) It's a great idea though! A grits bar!

 

Lacey
February 26, 2008

a good friend of mine had a very Southern menu at her Chattanooga, TN wedding and one of the items was savory grits bar. I loved the idea - much more interesting than the mashed potato bar you see at many weddings - and this is a great spin on it! oh, and they were served in martini glasses :)

 

cris
February 26, 2008

For all of you who keep saying polenta is a fancy name for grits...please stop. The american (and yes, I am american) need to make everything about them is really obnoxious. Polenta was eaten in Italy, before we were a country. (see below). The same manner of cooking corn can be seen in many cultures and countries across the planet. In the Southern US the variation they cook is called grits. Everyone has their own variations, but please don't tell people that what they are eating is really what you call it, not what they call it.


"Polenta is made with either coarsely, or finely ground dried yellow or white cornmeal (ground maize), depending on the region and the texture desired. As it is known today, polenta derives from earlier forms of grain mush (known as puls or pulmentum in Latin or more commonly as gruel or porridge) commonly eaten in Roman times and after. Early forms of polenta were made with such starches as the grain farro and chestnut flour, both of which are still used in small quantity today. When boiled, polenta has smooth creamy textures, caused by the presence of starch molecules dissolved into the water."

 

jennifer
February 26, 2008

It is interesting to read how this is eaten in different places.
My Bosnian in-laws eat it like a mush with milk, sour cream dollops, and grated smoked cheese. They call it palenta.
My dad from Nebraska calls it scrapple. He cooks the mush with chicken broth, parsley, and crumbled bacon. Then pours it into a loaf pan, chills, slices, frys, and tops with maple syrup.
I am now inclined to try it with some of the sweet stuff mentioned.
Thanks for the inspiration.

 

connie
February 26, 2008

i love polenta and while i've had it for breakfast i never thought of polenta as a brunch option. that sounds like a great idea!

 

pina
February 26, 2008

Thank you, Cris. Someone needed to say that.

 

Kimberly
February 26, 2008

Great comments everyone. I feel like I've been around the world in five minutes by reading everyone's incarnations of ground corn.

A question . . . I love the hands-free option of the crock pot but don't want to make lots (since there's just two of us and one of us isn't so adventurous). And I just bought a small rice cooker. So here's the question:

Does anyone think I can use the rice cooker to do the hard work for me rather than the stove top? Or am I going to be disappointed or worse have a lot of burned polenta?

 

Robin
February 26, 2008

When I was small, my mother used to make cornmeal mush for breakfast. I found out as an adult that this is really polenta. She would serve it hot like porridge and if there were leftovers, she would refrigerate in a loaf, slice it and fry it the next day. I always loved it.

 

Christine
February 26, 2008

I love polenta and eat it quite often. I love it with scallops, but when I eat it for breakfast I use jam and sour cream. It is delicious and gluten free!

 

Tiran
February 26, 2008

I have used left over quinoa the same way. Nice slightly nutty flavour.

 

Lyra
February 26, 2008

Wow, reading through these comments is indeed an education in global porridge consumption. I have eaten plenty of polenta and grits and oatmeal for breakfast, and I love them all. There definitely seems to be a mini-breakfast polenta trend starting in the food blog community-I just posted about breakfast polenta a couple weeks ago: http://riceandbeansindc.blogspot.com/2008/02/breakfast-series-cornmeal-mush-new.html

 

Irene
February 26, 2008

Oh, what a beautiful photo! I've never made nor eaten polenta before. I don't think we had it in Russia, so it's a little scary to make something I don't know anything about. It does look fantastic, though.

 

Jenny
February 27, 2008

Looks delicious!!! :)

 

renée
February 27, 2008

I had to stop reading this post halfway through to make myself a bowl of polenta topped with a poached egg, truffle cheese and Hawaiian salt. What a great breakfast! Thanks

 

Jen O
February 27, 2008

It's been a long time since I made polenta. Thanks for giving me the inspiration!

 

monika
February 27, 2008

I really like your new picture...and thank you for all the really wonderful recipes. It inspires me to choose more natural foods and to be even more fearless in the kitchen.

 

Katie
February 27, 2008

Mmm. This looks delicious, and perfect for cold weather!

Incidentally, I made your chickpea hot pot this past weekend (with some substitutions - pearled barley instead of bulgur), and it was delicious. Thanks!

 

riceandwheat
February 27, 2008

yum ... i never thought of having polenta for breakfast until i stumbled into the new blue bottle cafe in downtown sf the other day. they were serving bowls of creamy polenta with gruyere cheese and slivers of prosciutto (or pancetta...i can't remember which). now i know how to make my own! thanks heidi!

 

Liz
February 27, 2008

Christine commented earlier that she suspected that polenta made in the slow cooker would come out well, and I can certainly attest to the fact that yes, it does come out very well! You can start the polenta when you go to bed and when you wake up, it will be perfect.

"Not your mother's slow cooker cookbook" has an excellent recipe for slow cooker polenta.

 

ElizabethW
February 27, 2008

What a swell idea! I think I'd like it topped with stewed apples and cheddar, or even a little warm apple butter. Oops! I'm drooling onto my computer again.

 

Ed
February 27, 2008

When I was growing up(born in 1940),I was the son of parents who had grown up in "The Great Depression" I was surprised not to hear corn meal(polenta)not mentioned as a dinner item. In my neighborhood most had fish on Fridays. We
had potroast w/carrots, gravy, and cornmeal
mush(polenta) for dinner(every Friday)

 

Ed
February 27, 2008

When I was growing up(born in 1940),I was the son of parents who had grown up in "The Great Depression" I was surprised not to hear corn meal(polenta)not mentioned as a dinner item. In my neighborhood most had fish on Fridays. We
had potroast w/carrots, gravy, and cornmeal
mush(polenta) for dinner(every Friday)

 

R Ghilarducci
February 27, 2008

Comment on polenta: I'm an old dude and its amazing to see what has happened to polenta over the last 50 years. Polenta was a last resort. Add, what you had to it to keep from going hungry. It was like rice to Italians in times of hunger, especially in post war Italy. Having been born in the U.S. I wasn't as subject to the same conditions as my Dad, but we ate a lot of polenta too! I remember polenta at less than two dollars for a five pound bag. We as a family served it when I was a kid with a dried codfish stew, as dumplings with a red meat sauce. as lunch by letting it get hard , tucking a piece of cheese into a cut in a slice of it and roasting it. It was also great as a cold left over spooned into a homemade chicken stock soup. Now, wow !!! Polenta sounds like a cure all. I think it's great that something as simple as corn meal has attained the culinery status that it has, but please don't forget It's completely humble and obscure past.