Preparation info

  • Serves

    6 to 8

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Back to Square One

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1992

  • About

Polenta is easy to prepare (and lumpfree!) if you start with cold water. Parmesan or butter are optional enrichments. Polenta can be held in its soft state in a double boiler over hot water. Alternately, it can be poured onto a buttered or oiled baking sheet and chilled until firm, then cut into shapes for frying, grilling, or baking.


  • 7 to 8 cups cold water
  • 2 cups coarse cornmeal for polenta
  • ¾



Stir 7 cups cold water and the polenta together in a large heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pot, until thick and it no longer feels grainy on your tongue, about 30 minutes. Add more water if the polenta thickens too much before it’s c