Polenta provides an inexpensive, easily seasoned and versatile base for a wide range of dishes. This version provides a side dish that’s a little crispy on the outside, but moist and flavorful on the inside.
1/2 cup of yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups of boiling water
1/2t of coarse sea salt
2T and 2t of cooking oil (reserve the 2t for grilling the polenta)
2t of garlic, minced
1T of nutritional yeast
Additional seasoning to taste*
Bring the oil to heat on medium high in a heavy bottomed pan on medium high
Add the sea salt and the garlic and saute the garlic for 2 minutes.
Add the water and bring to a soft boil.
Add corn meal slowly, stirring as you go.
Reduce heat to low and cook for roughly 40 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking.
The polenta will be done when it’s quite thick and pulling away from the sides of the pan.
Add the nutritional yeast and any additional seasonings.
Let stand five minutes to cool.
Spoon the polenta into two lightly oiled ramekins, and smooth the top with a spoon.
Let cool for about 30 minutes uncovered in the refrigerator to setup.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Carefully turn out the polenta.
Lightly oil the polenta and grill directly on the middle rack until the polenta browns a little here and there (about 10-15 minutes, turning once).
*I use sea salt and black pepper, but green herbs, particularly basil, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, olives, and other high flavour seasonings add variety, nutrition and colour.
**If you’re anxious about grilling something directly on your oven rack, use a lightly oiled pan with the drier top of the polenta down.