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What is the Deal with: Polenta

Polenta is made out of course or finely ground yellow or white cornmeal. It was formerly known as a peasant food, but now has become rather an upscale meal. Many restaurants are serving it, and you can also find pre-made polenta in grocery stores.

Depending on how it's prepared, polenta can range from a spoonable mush like corn grits, to a thicker pancake-type consistency that is often grilled.

Cornmeal is an excellent source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, thiamine (Vitamin B1), riboflavin (Vitamin B2), niacin (Vitamin B3) and Vitamin B6. With all this goodness, it's definitely good for you.

My favorite kind of polenta is the thicker kind because, similarly to pasta, it has a pretty bland flavor, so you can flavor it up in millions of ways.

Want to know how I make it? Then

  • You can buy the pre-made polenta that comes in a tube (it's either refrigerated and found near the tofu, or not refrigerated and found near the pasta).
  • Slice it up and place it in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. You can sauté some mushrooms and peppers along with it.
  • After it's slightly brown and the edges have hardened, place it on a plate and top with the sautéed veggies, fresh basil, sliced tomatoes, and mozzarella. It's so delicious.
Join The Conversation
crispet1 crispet1 10 years
JKe895 JKe895 10 years
I've never heard of this. I'll have to find it and try it.
Marci Marci 10 years
I'm not a fan of polenta. I keep trying it but I can't wrap my taste buds around it.
lms lms 10 years
My Mom brought me some packages of Polenta from Italy. I found a recipe on Williams Sonoma. I think it was Polenta with wild mushroom ragout(or something like that). I prepared it and served it with some kind of fancy sausages. It was really good.
I love polenta and use it instead of pasta now, I dip in olive oil then dip in a johnny's seasoning (if you havent tried it you should parm, italian spices, pepper so good!) then toss in a skillet till outside is crispy and top with chunky sauce (home made or store bought).
beautiful-disaster beautiful-disaster 10 years
fun! polenta is pretty well known here in argentina
ccsugar ccsugar 10 years
One of my bffs is Italian, and I was at her family's house once on NYE... they made this huge spread, and I tried polenta for the first time. It was pretty good! It had a strange consistency, though. I also tried tripes for the first time... My bff wouldn't tell me what it was til after I ate it!!! YUCK! :P
llendril llendril 10 years
my first experience with polenta was at an upscale restaurant, served with duck. i LOVED it, and i love making it (from the tube, of course) at home.
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