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


  1. says

    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!



  2. says

    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!

  3. says

    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.

  4. says

    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!

  5. says

    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!

  6. says

    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.

  7. stella says

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

  8. Amanda says

    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!!!

  9. Mel Dimcali says

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

  10. Aoife says

    Just made this and it was so so good! With pecorino and steamed broccoli…perfect summer comfort food.

  11. Veronica says

    I tried this with corn from my CSA box and it is delicious. Do you know how it freezes? I have a lot of corn from my box this week and would love to freeze some for those cold winter days. Thanks for a great recipe.

    • says

      So happy to hear this, Veronica! This is truly one of my favorite summer dishes. I haven’t ever tried to freeze it — I usually gobble it up so quickly — but I imagine it would freeze very well. It might give off a little liquid at first when it is reheating, but I imagine that will cook off, and that it will taste great. Good luck!

  12. Wendy says

    I read this and went immediately to get the corn I was wondering how I’d use and made it for breakfast, along with some spinach leaves, bacon & grilled tomato. It was so delicious. My late father would have adored it. As I tasted it, my thoughts also turned to my New Mexican friend who loves Hatch green chiles (with everything!!) and wondered if some roasted chiles might be nice chopped through it, or the fresh corn polenta served on the side as an accompaniment to a green chilli dish. I think it’d be pretty good. I’ll have to try it out & let you know.

  13. Anne Murphy says

    This was FABULOUS! Served it for my birthday brunch today and everyone loved it. Thanks for yet another delicious recipe!

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