Polenta is another name for cornmeal. It is a grain and can be cooked in water, stock or milk to make a thick paste (I know this isn’t the best word to describe it, but it really is lovely, trust me!).
It can be flavoured with herbs and cheese, and can be served as soft polenta (straight from the saucepan), or cooled then grilled, baked or fried. And it can be used in cakes – a lemon polenta cake with sweet syrup is just heavenly. It also has the added benefit of being gluten free – so it is perfect for coeliacs.
Soft Polenta is a great accompaniment to a rich beef casserole on a winter’s night, while baked polenta chips are lovely as an alternative to fried potato chips, or even baked potato.