Polenta Made Easy Pan Fried with Onions and Tomatoes

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Polenta. I like saying the word. PO-lenta sounds like poor lentils. Not too far fetched since this was originally a dish for the poor. This included the working class and farmers. Known as Italian grits, and made popular in Northern Italy, you can now find them around the world. 

Fried Polenta with Sautéed Onions, Tomatoes, Garlic and Basi
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Traditional polenta can cook slowly and for a long time. In the past, millet, farro or chickpea were the foundation for the mixture. This recipe calls for yellow corn grits. It takes just a few minutes to make. I made my polenta and put it in the fridge for 2 hours so it could set. Then, I sliced it into squares and fried it.

Fried Grits or Polenta?

So let me say this about grits. I grew up with grits. We always ate them like porridge. We enjoyed them with butter and sometimes cheddar cheese. I love them but no one I know ever put them into the fridge and fried them. As an adult, I’ve had polenta cakes in restaurants. I never made them at home.

Yellow corn grits and the cornmeal we use to fry fish are two different things. So please don’t try to make your fried polenta with the wrong ingredient. I enjoyed making this dish and I can see that it has lots of potential. For today, I sautéed onions, garlic, tomatoes and basil for the topping. Check out some other great toppings;

  • Honey and Goat Cheese
  • Pasta Sauce and Basil
  • Mushrooms and Garlic
  • Onions and Peppers
Woman pouring Polenta into a bowl
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Deciding to put more plants on your plate includes grains like polenta. Reaching back into the past can actually make remixing plates a lot of fun. Brown rice is awesome but I’m having fun learning how to cook with grains that are older but new to me. Try this fried polentanwith easy red beans or with collard greens for a truly plant-based meal and enjoy!

LA is a plant-based advocate who is having fun learning about new grains. Visit the Black Girls Eat Online Shop for merchandise. If you want to go from plant-curious to plant-focused, be sure to check out her fun 5 day email class: Introduction to Plant Based Nutrition. Sign up below for updates and announcements.

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