Some people think of seasons in terms of sports or weather. Food lovers tend to think of the seasons in terms of ingredients. In my mind, fall will always be fresh porcini season while winter makes me crave polenta. I was going to write a long, poetic post but apparently it’s on everybody’s mind these day and I really can’t say it better than the three writers below:
The Minimalist at New York Times takes out the fear of making polenta.
Russ Parsons at the Los Angeles Times has several recipes and a short-cut to making polenta from scratch. Stir and bake?
Eats Well With Others has a well-written introduction with a recipe for soft polenta with mascarpone.
I emailed the Los Angeles times article to my husband and that was enough to spur him to make polenta, with a rich tomato-based sauce, for Friday night. I’m a lucky woman, I know! Polenta is usually paired with a meat ragu, sausage or creamy cheese, all of which are delicious. However, my favorite recipe is baccala accomodou over polenta. I’ve only had this once (courtesy of my husband) but I loved the combination of hearty fish, potato and tomato sauce over polenta.
An important note: If you’re going to try polenta, use the soft stuff and stir. I think even instant polenta is much better than the “logs” you find at some specialty stores or Trader Joes.