Thursday, March 29, 2012

Soft Polenta

Polenta is readily available in a tube at the grocery store, but homemade polenta is so much tastier and creamier.  This version cooks only until soft (polenta can also be firm, as in my Polenta with Cheese and Spinach), and is the perfect compliment to a big bowl of soup. You can play around with flavor variations by using broth instead of water, or switching to a different vegan cheese.  Tonight I used the mozzarella block from Galaxy foods, but this polenta is such a snap to make, I'll no doubt try it with other flavors soon.

  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup whole grain yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup grated vegan cheese
1. Combine the boiling water, butter, and salt in a saucepan.  Gradually add the cornmeal, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return to a boil, stirring constantly.  (Note: this will happen in mere moments, since the water is already hot).

2. Reduce heat to low and cook for 25 minutes, stirring frequently - the polenta should be soft, but thick.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.  The polenta will be best served immediately, before it firms up.

I particularly liked the polenta served with mushroom soup. Try pairing with my Wild Mushroom Stew with Gremolata, or any canned vegan soup or stew.

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (3/4 cup), Calories 184 

Tasting Notes:
Wonderfully thick and creamy - in fact quite similar in texture and heartiness to mashed potatoes.  Although tasty, the flavor could definitely be stronger and needed some layering.  I'd use broth instead of water, and increase the butter a little.  I also recommend either chopped herbs, such as basil or thyme, or a little drizzle of truffle oil to liven up the flavor. You could also try plating the polenta in a bowl and spoon soup or stew right on top.


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