Basic Polenta

Eleanor King

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Makes 6 servings

4 ½ cups vegetable stock

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup medium or coarse cornmeal

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Polenta can serve as the base for many proteins and vegetables. This basic recipe is made with a few simple pantry staples that come together to make a creamy, hearty polenta. While serving it warm under a saucy main is a great option, it can also be chilled overnight and used the next day. Since corn is starchy, the cooled polenta will come together to form a solid block once chilled. This can then be cut into pieces and fried in a saucepan with a little oil. Fried polenta is great topped with a poached egg or paired with lunch meats and cheeses.


1. In a large saucepan, bring vegetable stock to a boil. Add salt and whisk.

2. Gradually add in cornmeal, whisking constantly. Once all of the cornmeal has been added, reduce heat to low and continue whisking until the mixture has thickened. Let cook for an additional 15 minutes until the cornmeal is tender, stirring occasionally.

3. Remove from heat and add butter, pepper, and parmesan cheese, stirring until well combined and melted.

4. Serve warm and top with vegetables, meats, and sauce, or let chill overnight and cut into cubes to fry up for breakfast or lunch.

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes