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Polenta – Recipe

Polenta – Recipe

Corn was used as a dietary staple for tribes in North and South America. Today in the U.S., three-quarters of our corn produced is used for feeding livestock. Polenta is coarsely ground corn meal that is cooked and served as a kind of mush or cooked, allowed to set and then sliced. You can use broth instead of water as a cooking liquid or add cheese, vegetables or chilies to the cooked polenta to enliven the taste of plain polenta.

5 cups water or stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup polenta or corn grits
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or butter
2-3 tablespoons parmesan cheese (optional)

Traditional method
Bring water to rapid boil. Add salt and oil or butter. Slowly add polenta, stirring continuously with a whisk. Lower heat and continue stirring in a clockwise motion with a wooden spoon for 20-30 minutes until mixture can hold the spoon upright on its own. (If using cheese, add it now.) Lightly oil a pie plate or 8-by-8 pan. Pour polenta into pan and smooth the top. Let cool. Slice and serve.

Double-boiler option
When mixture begins to heave or sputter, reduce heat to low, cover and let cook 30-40 minutes. (If using cheese, add it now.) Lightly oil a pie plate or 8-by-8 pan. Pour polenta into pan and smooth the top. Let cool. Slice and serve.

Preparation time: 50 minutes
Makes 8 slices.

Read more: Food, All recipes, Desserts

Adapted from Feeding the Whole Family, by Cynthia Lair. Copyright (c)1997 by Cynthia Lair. Printed by permission of Cynthia Lair, Feeding the Family.
Adapted from Feeding the Whole Family, by Cynthia Lair

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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+ add your own
4:26AM PDT on Mar 31, 2013


8:44AM PST on Jan 22, 2013

Can't wait to try this. Thanks!

6:50PM PDT on Mar 15, 2012

Thanks for this recipe.

3:25PM PDT on Oct 26, 2011

Thank you

5:56PM PST on Feb 23, 2011


4:34PM PDT on Oct 28, 2007

I will try this
can I make with white grits?

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