Growing up, I thought polenta was strictly an Italian peasant dish. Later, I discovered that it was the darling of chic restaurants everywhere. But it's just cornmeal, a common staple of nearly every ethnic group across the globe from Africa to Asia, Europe to South America and the American South (where it's used to make grits).
It's popularity is understandable because cornmeal is filling, rich in dietary fiber and iron, naturally gluten-free, and unlimited in it's versatility. It molds to the shape of its container, so you can cut it into any shape you like and then heat it up on the grill or in a frying pan.
I cut mine into triangles and pan fried it so that the polenta was crisp on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside … incredible! Serve it with vegetables or with any sauce you like but this quick sauté of mushrooms and fresh tomatoes was amazing.
Polenta With Sautéed Mushrooms & Tomatoes
Serves 8 as an appetizer
Ingredients for the Polenta