My first experience with polenta involved the pre-made slice and serve variety. Needless to say, it wasn't until I tasted the creamy, bubbling, freshly-made version that I discovered my love for the simple cornmeal dish. And, oh, what things you can do with it! Read on for six creative recipes.
1. Poached Egg over Polenta with Olive-Herb Pesto from Danielle of The Trail of Crumbs: Just one look at the photo from this recipe (above) will have you drooling over this savory breakfast dish.
2. Roasted Garlic Polenta Dippers from Edible Perspective: Start with a whole head of garlic, roast it, and use those creamy, sweet cloves to make baked polenta bars — hello, new finger-friendly appetizer!
3. Baked Eggs with Creamy Polenta, Spinach & Garlic: Polenta makes a creamy addition to classic baked eggs.
4. Polenta al Forno With Spinach, Ricotta and Fontina from The New York Times: A polenta casserole — what more could we ask for?
5. Breakfast Polenta with Figs and Mascarpone from Martha Stewart: Try polenta instead of oatmeal for breakfast and don't skimp on the sweet additions of figs and honey.
6. Roast of Incredible Game Birds with Proper Polenta from Jamie Oliver: Polenta serves as a creamy bed for roasted game birds (and works great with chicken, quail and cornish game hens) and catches all the juices.
Related: Good Question: What is Polenta?
(Image: Leela Cyd Ross)