Polenta used to be a poor mans dish. Ground corn (cornmeal) was readily available and you could easily make a thick porridge out of it simply by adding some water and cooking it on he stove. I can only imagine how boring this was, no wonder polenta was not cool for so long.
Recently polenta became cool again though. Its a simple dish made with simple ingredients, yet the possibilities of it are endless. You can serve it creamy as I have done here, or you can cook out more of the liquid, pour it into a pan to let sit, cut it up and fry it (see Crispy Fried Polenta Bites . Today I made a creamy version and sautéed up some fresh summer veggies I had in my fridge to serve it with.
1 Cup Stone Ground Polenta (yellow or white)
1 Cup Chicken Broth
3/4 Cup Whole Milk
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Cup Water
3 TB Butter
1 Cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese (plus more because, cheese that’s why)
Salt and White Pepper to Taste
Sautéed Summer Veggies
* Radishes, Red Onion, Baby Heirloom Tomatoes, Fresh Basil
The best part about summer is all the fresh veggies. Grab whatever veggies you like or have and throw them on the grill or in a sauce pan for a quick sauté. You can then toss in some fresh herbs for a bit of freshness.
To Make the Polenta:
1. In a medium sauce pan on high heat add the chicken broth, whole milk, heavy cream, water and cook until it starts to boil.
2. Add the polenta and stir with a whisk. You will need to stir continuously in order to make sure the polenta cooks evenly and no lumps form.
3. After about 4-5 minutes you will see the polenta start to thicken and begin to boil. Remove the pot from the stove and add the butter, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Mix until everything is incorporated.
4. TASTE- since we are seasoning to taste, tasting the polenta before declaring it is done is vital. If its a bit bland, add another pinch of salt and taste again.
5. Pour the polenta into bowls, top with seasonal sautéed veggies and serve immediately. (you can also serve it with more cheese… because, cheese.)