The method used here creates a luscious and creamy polenta that cooks pretty much unattended; in fact, the more slowly the polenta cooks, the better it is. Food52 executive editor Kristen Miglore adapted the method from The Food of Southern Italy by Carlo Middione.
Soft Polenta with Mixed Mushrooms and Gremolata
Chef Suzanne Goin adores the straightforward flavors in this vegetarian dish: the sautéed mushrooms and greens and the tangy mascarpone that melts into the creamy polenta.
Baked Butternut Squash-and-Cheese Polenta
Anna Thomas's book The New Vegetarian Epicure focuses on recipes for entertaining including this crusty baked polenta, swirled with mashed butternut squash and smoked Gouda cheese.
Baked Polenta with Mushrooms
In the time it takes to heat up frozen lasagna, you can make a from-scratch layered polenta dish that's every bit as satisfying. It needs nothing more than a simple green salad as an accompaniment.
Polenta Pound Cake with Mascarpone and Rosemary
Chef Eddie Russell garnishes this tender, crumbly cake with beautiful fresh figs for added sweetness.
Herbed Polenta and Parmesan Gratin
This indulgent baked polenta, made with plenty of Parmesan, can be prepared ahead of time and reheated as it is when it comes straight out of the oven.
Polenta with Chives
Made from ground cornmeal, creamy polenta is a versatile side dish. Using instant polenta will cut your preparation time down to 10 minutes.
Oven-Fried Chicken with a Polenta Crust
Liven up dinner by using polenta as a crust for crispy and delicious fried chicken.
Cinnamon Polenta Pancakes
Using polenta in addition to white flour in these pancakes makes them especially satisfying, as the ground whole grain delivers lots of fiber and a good amount of protein.
Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms
Commercial wild mushroom mixes (usually a combination of shiitake, cremini and oyster mushrooms) are a godsend: the mushrooms are already cleaned, stemmed and sliced the mushrooms for you. In this recipe, they are mixed with spinach and cream, then baked in a luscious gratin under smooth rounds of precooked polenta until bubbling hot.
Poached Eggs with Sunchokes and Comté Polenta
Comté is a cow's milk cheese with a nutty flavor and pairs with well polenta's delicate taste. This dish is an impressive brunch main but is equally delicious for dinner.
Butternut Squash-Polenta Gratin
Polenta adds a new dimension to this hearty gratin that is bursting with fall flavors.
Very Soft Polenta with Rock Shrimp Ragout
This is Mario Batali's variation on a classic dish from the coastal villages outside of Trieste, where the fresh seafood is among the most prized in the world. The polenta that accompanies the shrimp must be very soft, almost saucelike. "Thick, lumpy polenta is criminal in that part of Italy, and justly so," Batali says.
Lemon-and-Fennel-Roasted Lamb with Polenta
Chef Chris Cosentino marinates boneless leg of lamb and serves with creamy polenta and mascarpone.
Parmesan-Polenta-Coated Chicken Livers with Lentil Salad
Lovers of chicken livers will find this dish a treat, and we think even those who are skeptical will fall for these morsels with their crisp polenta coating and subtle cheese flavor.
White Polenta with Wild Mushrooms and Robiola Cheese
White polenta is made from white cornmeal but has the same coarse texture as yellow polenta. Paired with hearty mushrooms and creamy cheese, this dish is a perfect, rich side dish.
Crispy Polenta Bites with Arugula Tapenade
Instead of using polenta as a side dish, turn it into crouton-like hors d'oeuvres like these, which get piled with a crunchy arugula-and-radish tapenade.
Shellfish-Tomato Stew on Soft-Cooked Polenta
This stew showcases the great seafood from the nearby Adriatic Sea. Here, a tomato stew with shrimp, squid and mussels is served over milk-enriched polenta.
Polenta-Crusted Fish Cakes with Spicy Tomato Sauce
Boring fish cakes are reinvented by using polenta, which gives the cakes a crispy crust, and tarragon-infused tomato sauce spiked with fresh red chile.