Sometimes a recipe has to be well timed. I come across dozens of recipes daily. I pin a handful of them to make later. If something especially strikes me, I’ll pin it to the “Dinner This Week” board which I consult when writing my grocery list. This recipe reached out through the Internet and screamed “make me right now” very conveniently on Tuesday morning. My local farmers’ market is Tuesday afternoon, so I carefully collected corn, tomatoes and eggplant along with my usual haul of eggs, peaches, strawberries and sourdough bread.
Yotam Ottolenghi wrote Plenty, a book which I have paged through numerous times but whose charms I’ve always just managed to resist. This polenta recipe has so thoroughly won me over that I’m now bereft at the thought of how many other magical recipes may live inside the pages of Plenty where I haven’t yet met them.
I trust Food52 and Amanda Hesser with all matters food and food writing. When Food52 labels a recipe or a method “genius,” I’m intrigued. And when that recipe reaches out of my laptop on a Tuesday morning and demands attention, I acquiesce.
So this recipe that I’ve been fussing about lives here: Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce. The eggplant sauce was tasty, but the polenta was a revelation. Perhaps good polenta actually is supposed to taste like corn pudding. This version certainly did, and despite the starch and the butter and the cheese it managed to be light and summery, words that certainly never jumped to mind when the topic of polenta was summoned before. In fact, I found myself positively disappointed that I’d added the feta. (on a side note, when is it ever disappointing to add cheese to something?)
The feta was a wonderful salty addition to the dish. However upon tasting this polenta, I determined that if it were served warm and creamy with a veritable flood of maple syrup, it might just be the Platonic ideal of weekend breakfasts.
So I will be making this again and soon. I hope this post reaches you at as opportune a time as the original recipe reached me. Perhaps as you’re heading to the grocery store, or the farmers’ market, or harvesting your own corn (you lucky duck). So make this, and report back. Please be smarter than I was and pull some out before you add the feta and save it for breakfast the next morning.