P is for POLENTA!
Polenta is a versatile food that is hearty, healthy and budget-friendly. It makes a perfect based for countless toppings. Some of my favorites are parmesan, braised short ribs, sausage and roasted tomatoes. The traditional way to make polenta is on top of the stove, it’s labor intensive and requires constant stirring. That’s why, I wanted to share this wonderful recipe for oven-baked polenta; it’s so much easier than the stove-top method and just as delicious. Enjoy!
Easy Oven-Baked Polenta – from Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
- 1 cup polenta
- 1 quart water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the polenta, water and salt in a 2-quart baking dish. Stir together, and place in the oven. Bake 50 minutes. Remove from the oven, and stir in the butter. Use a fork or a spatula to stir the polenta well, and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and stir again. Carefully taste a little bit of the polenta; if the grains are not completely soft, return to the oven for 10 minutes.
- Serve right away for soft polenta, or let sit five minutes for a stiffer polenta. Spoon onto a plate. Make a depression in the middle, and serve with the topping of your choice or plain, as a side dish.
- Alternatively, for grilling or use in another recipe, allow to chill and stiffen in the baking dish, or scrape into a lightly oiled or buttered bread pan and chill.
- Variation: Polenta With Parmesan – When you remove the polenta from the oven, stir in 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan. Serve at once. I like to grind a little black pepper over the top.