I love polenta. I have another recipe for polenta that’s set and then can be cut and fried up. You can check that recipe out here.
I also love creamy polenta and a lot of recipes include dairy. Not this one though.
The original recipe and method comes from Martha Stewart. Her recipe does include dairy, so I’ve omitted it and still had great success with the recipe. I do add a bit of good quality olive oil at the end in place of any butter.
This recipe makes a TON of soft polenta so I recommend serving whatever you need then spreading out the remaining on a parchment lined baking sheet to set up, slice and fry up later. Or maybe halving the recipe. Yeah, that could work too. Sort of wish I thought of that.
Cooking soft polenta can be a rather dangerous kitchen endeavour. If you’re not watching closely enough the polenta could start to spatter and if it lands on your hand or foot it’s painful. Like napalm on your flesh type painful. Seriously. So please, keep an eye on your soft polenta as it’s cooking and keep the heat low enough.
- 10 cups cold water, divided
- 1 heaping tablespoon coarse salt
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 cups coarse-ground polenta meal
- Freshly ground pepper
- Drizzle olive oil
- Put 6 cups cold water, the salt, and bay leaf into a large pot, and bring to a boil. Bring remaining 4 cups cold water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Add polenta to large pot in small amounts, sprinkling in slowly and whisking constantly until combined. Reduce heat until only a couple of large bubbles appear at a time - on medium-low heat.
- Whisk 2 ladlefuls of simmering water into polenta, and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until water has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Continue to add 2 ladlefuls of water every 5 minutes, stirring often and waiting for it to be absorbed before adding more, until polenta is creamy and just pulls away from sides of pot, between 30-45 minutes, depending on the heat.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil over top and stir in just before serving.