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I’m not sure whether to categorize Herby Polenta as a side dish or a main dish.

I would be entirely happy and comfortable with that big bowl and a spoon.

The fresh herb flavors popping through with hints of smoked gouda in every creamy extremely satisfying bite!

Jump to Recipe

What is Polenta?

Polenta, dubbed “Italian Grits”, is a staple in Northern Italy. Made from ground yellow cornmeal, this grain is wildly versatile. Grits, on the other hand, are a popular breakfast staple in southern cuisine. They are made from either finely stone-ground white corn or hominy. Both are typically served ‘mush’ style or in cake form.

The Fresh Herbs

Adding fresh herbs to the polenta completely elevates the flavor profile.

I chose my favorite blend, I call it the Simon & Garfunkel….parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

Simon & Garfunkel Herbs

Each of these individually or any combination will work wonderfully. Simply sauté the chopped herbs in butter for a few minutes to infuse their flavors. Then stir the herby butter into the cooked creamy cornmeal.

The Cheese – Smoked Gouda

For the cheese I like a smoked cheese, again to add another layer of flavor. You could use cheddar, gruyere, even goat cheese would be delicious swirled through creamy polenta.

Perfect Polenta

Polenta is the perfect vehicle to use in place of rice, especially when there’s a savory sauce involved. Or serve this as a gluten free alternative to pasta.

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All my best,
xo Libby

Herby Polenta with Smoked Gouda can be a side dish or main dish

Herby Polenta {with Smoked Gouda}

The fresh herbs flavors popping through with hints of smoked gouda in every creamy extremely satisfying bite!
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Side Dish
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly chopped herbs (like parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups water, divided
  • 2 cups chicken or veggie broth
  • 1 cup yellow polenta
  • 1 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a small saute pan over medium low heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add in chopped fresh herbs and saute for 1-2 minutes. Reserve.
  • Bring 2 1/2 cups water and 2 cups broth to a boil in a heavy bottomed large saucepan. Slowly whisk in the polenta, bringing to a low boil stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, stirring constantly until polenta begins to thicken. Cover and continue to cook over low heat for 25-30 minutes or until polenta is tender, stirring every 3-4 minutes to keep from sticking to bottom of pan. If polenta is thicker than desired you can whisk in more water, a couple tablespoons at a time.
  • Stir in melted herb butter and the shredded gouda cheese, stirring with wooden spoon until cheese is melted. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Best served immediately as polenta will thicken as it stands. To reheat stir in a little water, broth or milk. Enjoy!

Notes

Depending on how coarsely ground the polenta is the cooking time and amount of water will vary.  Adjust accordingly.