While I love oatmeal and eat it for breakfast for months and months out of the year, right around this time in the season I look for something else. The mornings are warmer and sunny, and I long for something that feels a little less substantial, isn't as predictable, and doesn't remind me of cold weather wake-ups. Lately the answer is polenta.
I realize polenta isn't often thought of as morning fare, but once you try it as such, it'll likely take hold pretty quickly. A few years ago, I started eating leftover polenta in the mornings and it became a quick favorite. Today, I'll even make a creamy pan of polenta if I have the time to spare and top it much like I would oatmeal — with plump golden raisins, a little brown sugar, some maple syrup. I've even gotten into the habit of folding in a little thick Greek yogurt at the very end to make it even creamier and more decadent.
Alternatively, make it savory by folding in a little spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese. If you eat meat, chorizo is wonderful as are little bits of bacon. It's a whole new breakfast world, really — so much so that I think of polenta more as morning fare these days than anything else.
Have you tried breakfast polenta? What's your favorite way to serve it?
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(Images: Heidi Swanson of 101Cookbooks)