Fresh Corn Polenta — Where Have You Been All My Life?

Fresh Corn Polenta with Egg on Top

Fresh corn polenta — oh fresh corn polenta! How could I have forgotten about you? I discovered you this time last year. I was out to eat. You were in my bowl. It was love at first bite. You were the very best polenta I had ever tasted, your sweet corn flavor discernible even through the jus of the pair of braised short ribs smothering you. How could this be, I wondered? I chalked it up to lots of butter and cheese and the sort of restaurant trickery that just can’t be duplicated at home. And so I forgot about you. For a whole year. Oh fresh corn polenta! I’m so happy you’re back in my life. In my home no less. And for good this time.

This is the sort of recipe I want to tell everyone about. I want to call all of my friends and family. I want to spark up conversation with people in checkout lines, knock on my neighbors’ doors, stop strangers in the street. It is so good and much to my surprise calls for no sort of restaurant magic — just a box grater, a little butter, and a sauté pan. It’s the kind of thing I could eat every night for dinner, and this week I basically have. I love it with sautéed greens or with a poached egg or just on its own with some cracked pepper and parmesan cheese. Before the season ends, I hope to try it with some sautéed mushrooms, too, which is how they serve it at La Toque, the source of this wonderful recipe.

You’ll discover it takes no time to whip up, just a little elbow grease during preparations — grating the ears of corn can be tiring. With that in mind, this is not a dish to make for company. It is the perfect dinner-for-1 or-2. It is simple and delicious. It is restaurant worthy certainly, but comfort food at its core. And I hope it will leave you wondering, as it has left me, where have you been all my life?


One ear’s worth of grated corn:
grated corn

I found this recipe from The View from the Bay online. There’s a little video included on the website, which is sort of helpful to watch, but not critical. The original recipe hails from La Toque, where they serve it with sautéed chanterelles. Yum Yum Yum.

Fresh Corn Polenta

Serves 1

2 ears corn
2 teaspoons butter
kosher salt
grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1. Clean the corn, removing all husks and threads. Working over a large bowl, grate the kernels off of the cob on the coarse side of a box grater. You will have a very wet coarse pulpy mixture.

2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the grated corn and season with a good pinch of salt. Simmer over low heat, stirring to prevent browning, for about 3 minutes. The mixture is ready when it just begins to thicken and set.

3. Top with some grated Parmigiano Reggiano and/or a poached egg or some sautéed greens.

Note: It is delicious served with this recipe: Catalan Spinach.

Fresh Corn Polenta with Parmigiano Reggiano

18. October 2010 by Alexandra Stafford
Categories: Breakfast, Cheese, Eating Locally, Entrees, Vegetarian | Tags: , , | 21 comments

Comments (21)

  1. Oh my gosh this looks absolutely amazing!! I believe I can actually taste this right now. Beautiful photos! :)

  2. This looks divine! Do you think (in non fresh corn season) I could use frozen corn processed to a semi-mush in the food processor?

  3. Is it awful I didn’t know you could do this? I’m so excited now! Honestly I cannot wait to try this out. And definitely with the poached egg!



  4. Kamini — It’s interesting that you ask, because I was discussing this recipe with a neighbor, and she brought up a recipe from Cook’s Illustrator for corn chowder that call for doing exactly what you are describing. So, I would give it a whirl. There’s no harm trying!

    Heather — I had no idea you could do it either. Not awful at all. I hope you get around to experimenting with this … it’s soooo good!

  5. This looks really interesting. I’ve made regular polenta and added cut up corn a minute or two before it was done, but this is completely different. Gotta try it.

  6. Whoa – could this look more gorgeous and delicious? I don’t think so!!!

  7. ooh, i bet this is fantastic! i still haven’t tried my hand at polenta… which seems wrong :) i’ll have to keep this in mind for when i can get fresh corn again!

  8. I never knew this was possible! With oozy eggs it looks amazing!

  9. Thanks for another awesome recipe. I made this over the weekend and it was delicious!

  10. I love polenta but have yet to try the fresh, real stuff. I can’t wait to try this recipe! The polenta looks delicious and so much easier to make than I imagined. And I love adding egg to nearly any dish, so the poached egg on top has me sold… Thanks for sharing!

  11. Must look for fresh corn this weekend — is it too late to find fresh corn?

  12. p.s. Am a big fan of runny egg on food like egg on mushroom pizza or bibimbap.

  13. At long last I tried the fresh corn polenta. And by chance I was staying at my daughter’s home, no parmigiana but I had purchased a wonderful camembert at the Brooklyn Victory Garden so I sliced it and topped the polenta with it.
    This was heaven in a bowl.

  14. looks great! why would you not serve this to company? it looks pretty good to me especially if you top it with something nice.

  15. Wow. Dinner tonight was a knockout because of this polenta… thanks for sharing!

  16. Oh wow… I’m eating this right now, and it is amazing. Your post inspired me, so I grabbed a couple of ears of corn at the grocery store on my way home so I could make this, and I am so, so glad I did. The mixture of sweet corn and salty parmesan, topped with black pepper and some fruity olive oil… incredible. Thank you!!!

  17. Kosher salt?! Why do people have to be such narcissistic, pretentious $%&*? Just call it iodized or sea salt.

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