Creamy Polenta
Serves: 6
  • 5-6 cups water or chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup polenta*
  • 1-3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, unrefined olive oil or organic Earth Balance (I prefer butter)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese (optional)
  1. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt. Then add the polenta to the pot slowly, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook COVERED, stirring often, until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, about 20 minutes. The polenta can be eaten now, but the flavors develop more and you’ll lose some of the grittiness if you can allow it to simmer another 20-30 minutes. Not essential, though.
  2. Stir in the butter and cheese and serve immediately or keep warm in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Polenta should be pourable and creamy. If it’s too thick, stir in more liquid.
*You can also do a more “instant” version of this using instant polenta or fine ground cornmeal (like the kind you use for corn muffins.) That will take you 5 minutes.

Other options: For extra richness, you can stir in an additional ½ cup of whole milk or plain, unsweetened hemp milk at the end, or some mascarpone or cream cheese; Mozzarella or fontina cheese.

You can also add corn kernels, roasted garlic, or herbs, such as rosemary, basil or parsley.
Recipe by Pamela Salzman at