No Mess Polenta
I stopped making polenta when I realized the constant attention it needs as it is cooking and the mess it makes on the stove with all its spattering. But then my friend introduced me to oven baked polenta. I admit it. I was very skeptical and I am thrilled to now introduce you to this incredibly easy recipe. Let your imagination lead the way with toppings!
- ½ cup cornmeal I try to buy organic nonGMO
- Sea salt to taste caution if you are using salted stock or salty cheese
- freshly cracked pepper to taste
- 2 cups flavourful stock chicken, veal, or vegetable or use water
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp freshly chopped herbs optional
- Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese to taste I used about ½ cup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large enough oven-proof deep dish, whisk together the water, cornmeal, salt and pepper.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until sides are dry and firm but centre is soft and wet.
Remove from the oven and whisk butter and herbs if using. Add cheese and whisk quickly until polenta is smooth and creamy.
- Polenta is traditionally made with water but feel free to explore any combination of liquids including milk.
- Although you may feel the urge to stir the polenta during baking, it is really not necessary.
- Depending on the size and depth of your dish, the polenta may require less or more time. It is ready when it seems firm and dry around the edges but soft and wetter in the middle.
- Consider substituting the butter with olive oil or mascarpone cheese.
- Consider substituting the Parmigiano with any cheese like Fontina or gorgonzola.
- Experiment with fresh herbs. If using dried herbs, add them to the liquid mixture before baking.
- Once you whisk before serving, it will become creamy.
- Add freshly grated cheese and slip the dish under the broiler until the cheese melts. Then serve.
- Consider serving toppings like Bolognese sauce, a medley of suateed mushrooms, garlicky rapini, etc.
- Double the recipe if you like. Just be sure to use a dish that is large enough.