Prep 1 min
Cook 30 mins
From vegetarian times. Adapted from one of Thomas Jefferson’s recipes, polenta, with its origins in Italy, resembles America’s cornmeal mush, a staple in the US diet since the nation’s very early days. This makes a substantial entrée, delicious with raw, steamed or sautéed farm-fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, green beans or chard. Preparation and cooking times are guesstimates.
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups coarse-ground yellow cornmeal
- 1 1⁄2 cups grated fontina
- 1 1⁄2 cups grated parmesan cheese or 1 1⁄2 cups other mild Italian cheese
- 1⁄2 cup stick unsalted butter
- 30 -45Bring salted water to a boil. Slowly add cornmeal, whisking continuously.
- When all cornmeal is added, reduce heat to low and continue whisking to remove any lumps. Continue cooking while stirring with spoon, adding ½ cup fontina cheese, for about 25 minutes, or until mixture is thick.
- Line 9-inch loaf pan with wax paper and lightly butter paper. Scoop cornmeal into pan and set aside to firm.
- Preheat oven to 350°F Butter ovenproof baking dish.
- Cut polenta into slices and place slices in overlapping layers in dish, dotting with butter and sprinkling with cheese. Reserve cheese to sprinkle over top.
- Bake polenta until cheeses melt and polenta forms crust, 10 to 15 minutes. For final browning, place baking dish under broiler and cook until cheeses turn golden. Remove and serve.