- YIELDS | 9 SMALL OR 4 LARGE CAKES
- PREP TIME | 5 MINS, PLUS 30 MIN CHILLING TIME
- COOK TIME | 10 MINS
No polenta recipe on the planet is as easy to make as this polenta cake dish. Make a sweet or savory version and serve at room temperature, cut into squares. Use the sweet cakes as a base for fresh berries and whipped cream—think strawberry shortcake—or pair the savory cakes with poached eggs or nestle them into spicy chili. Start with the same basic ingredients and mix in your favorite extras for additional taste options.
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal grits
- 3 cups water*
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Over medium heat, add all ingredients to a pot large enough to avoid a boil over. Bring to a simmer, stirring the polenta for 10 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken.
- When the mixture has thickened to a cake-like batter consistency, add the ingredients based on the type of recipe you would like to create (see Variations below).
- Then cook, stirring, for 5 more minutes.
- Pour the mixture into an 8 x 8 square container lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate 30 minutes, until the cake sets. When you remove it from refrigerator, polenta should still be warm. Cut into squares.
- Serve warm and with additional ingredients (see Variations below). Or simply drizzle with a little olive oil, and serve alongside your favorite soup or stew recipe.
- The cakes can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Best served slightly warmed or at room temperature.
Savory Polenta Cakes
*Substitute the water with chicken or vegetable stock. Add 1/2 teaspoon (or more to taste) red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary or sage, minced. If you don’t have fresh herbs, no problem; substitute with 1 teaspoon dried herb.
Sweet Polenta Cakes
Add 1/4 cup agave nectar or honey or 1/3 cup brown sugar. Or add a couple dollops of your favorite fruit preserves. Add finely chopped, dried nectarines, peaches, or any of your favorite dried fruit.
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