Polenta with Sweet-and-Sour Onion Relish, Cheddar, and Toasted Walnuts
Mild-flavored polenta benefits from assertive flavorings and contrasting textures. In this case, tangy sweet and sour onion relish (which the Italians call agrodolce) is matched with sharp cheddar and bittersweet walnuts.
Why This Recipe Works
We’ve tasted countless brands and found that stone-ground cornmeal is the best choice for a polenta recipe on two counts. First of all, it’s ground more slowly than commercially prepared cornmeal and thus retains more of its flavor because it is heated less. And, secondly, the corn is ground with its germ, further maximizing its flavor (the oil-rich germ stales quickly, so the big manufacturers take it out for extended shelf life). The real solution to arriving at a good quick polenta recipe proved to be as simple as topping the pot with a lid. Trapping the escaping moisture prevents the top of the polenta from drying out and reduces the risk of scorching the polenta, even when stirred only every five minutes or so.
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