What is the saying? Man cannot live on rice and potatoes alone? Hmm, maybe that’s not it, but I do love rice and potatoes. Still, in the interest of reducing monotony, it’s good to introduce new things into my repertoire.
Truthfully, I love polenta. It’s one of those flexible foods that goes with so many things…and it’s so fast and easy to prepare. I like mine with just salt and butter, but have friends who swear a couple of dashes of Tabasco make it heavenly.
While I am sure others have terrific ideas for polenta (now I’m wondering how it would do as a stuffing in a chicken breast…someday), I have two simple go-to preparations: basic (cooked on the stove) and grilled. I’ve heard tell of people making basic polenta in the oven, but it seems like more work than it’s worth to me (correct me if I’m wrong!). If you want to serve this as a side dish, stop at Step 3.
By June 2, 2013Published:
- Yield: 6 Servings
- Prep: 5 mins
- Cook: 20 mins
- Ready In: 25 mins
Polenta is a great gluten-free side dish option. It lends itself to lots of different flavors and preparations. Here, we grill it.
- 3 cups water or chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups polenta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper to taste; depending on what you're serving, you may want to add other seasonings or herbs
- Bring the water or stock to a boil.
- Whisk in the polenta, continuing to whisk until the polenta has thickened. This will be about five minutes.
- Whisk in the butter, salt, and other seasonings — like quinoa and rice, polenta is a flavor sponge.
- Pour the hot polenta into a baking dish or pie plate (I have an old, shallow one I keep for just this purpose). Cover the surface with plastic wrap — yes, place the wrap directly onto the polenta.
- Let stand until firm — about half an hour (sometimes I pop mine into the refrigerator if I’m in a hurry). You can make this ahead and keep refrigerated.
- Light your grill and oil the grates (use tongs and an oil-soaked paper towel). Cut the polenta into eight wedges. Grill over medium-high heat until crisp with lovely char marks on each side.