Serves 10/ Polenta is often served soft and creamy, but it also sets to a firm texture that you can slice and grill, pan-fry, or broil. These tasty squares stand on their own with a smattering of cheese, or they can serve as a backdrop to a variety of toppings, as suggested.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 cup corn kernels
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water, divided
1 cup polenta or corn grits
Optional toppings (choose one):
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese; sauteed spinach and mushrooms; beans and braised kale; marinara sauce and ricotta cheese (bake until bubbly); pesto sauce, chèvre, and sliced fresh tomatoes; black beans, sliced avocado, fresh salsa or diced tomato, dollop of sour cream, and chopped cilantro
1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add oil and heat several seconds; add onion and sauté until translucent, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute; stir in corn kernels. Add 2 cups broth or water and bring to boil. In a separate bowl, whisk together cornmeal and remaining 2 cups broth or water. Add cornmeal mixture to boiling liquid, stirring constantly to avoid clumping. Return to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook, stirring frequently to achieve smooth consistency,
20–30 minutes. Season to taste.
2. Once thick and smooth, transfer polenta to a lightly oiled 9x13-inch dish, smoothing until flat. Chill in refrigerator 30 minutes or until firm. Cut into squares and grill, pan-fry, or broil until golden brown on the outside and heated through. Serve with topping of choice.
PER SERVING: 105 cal, 1g fat (1g mono, 0g poly, 0g sat), 0mg chol, 2g protein, 22g carb, 1g fiber, 4mg sodium