Polenta with Basil and Sun-dried Tomato

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 October 2010 06:56 Written by Flax Wednesday, 27 October 2010 02:49

Polenta is a dish made from corn meal, the thicker corn flour. It is quick to make, easy to cook and can be eaten straight away, rolled out and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter or refrigerated, cut into square and then, either grilled or baked. The terms polenta, corn meal or corn flour are interchangable and any/either/all of these names might appear on the package. The corn meal that I use in this recipe is the darker thicker corn meal-not the maize which is also corn meal but is a thinner and a lighter color.

I recommend this recipe as a kugel alternative. It is egg free, low in fat-it has only 2 tbsp olive oil, and like a kugel, it is good when reheated even on the shabbat plattah.

Another advantage of polenta is that it is extremely versatile. You can spice it up any way you please. In this recipe, I went Italian, because in my experience, anything Italian gets eaten!


olive oil
6 shallots, diced
10 basil leaves, chopped fine
6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fine
2 cups water
1 cup soy milk or oat milk
1 cup polenta

Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan. Add the shallots and saute for 2 minutes. Add the water and soy/oat milk and bring to a boil. Add the basil, sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes. Carefully pour in the corn flour, while stirring gently, to avoid lumps. Simmer, while constantly stirring for about 5 minutes until the polenta mixture thickens and pulls away from the edge of the pan.

Serve immediately or pour into an oiled baking dish and refrigerate.

If you chose to refrigerate this dish then leave it refrigerated for 20 minutes (or more), cut it into squares, brush with olive oil, and reheat it by baking or grilling it in the oven– or by heating it on a warming plate.

A special thanks to Zahvie Appelbaum for helping to inspire this dish.

Note: Most people will only like polenta if it is served warm so do not serve it directly from the refrigerator

Serves 4-6


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