I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This recipe is one that we had to cut from my cookbook due to space constraints, but it’s too good to keep from you. It was inspired by two delicious experiences with polenta, or grits, if you’d rather. They’re basically the same thing.
The first was a polenta bowl at a farm-to-table restaurant in Omaha called Kitchen Table. My bowl looked pretty similar to what you see here, but with a poached egg. The second was at my cousin’s wedding shower, where I found grits generously swirled with cheddar cheese, green chilis and melted butter.
This combination is a homemade version of Kitchen Table’s bowl with Southwestern influences inspired by my cousin’s grits. I cooked the polenta with bell pepper and stirred in some salsa verde to amp up the flavor. Then I stirred in just one tablespoon of butter and folded in crumbled goat cheese, making the polenta ultra creamy.
This is a versatile recipe that you can adjust to work with any vegetables in your drawer. I roasted my vegetables for maximum flavor, but you could choose to steam or sauté them instead. You can also play around with the cheese (cheddar or Parmesan would be great), and you can prepare your eggs however you’d like. Lightly sautéed greens would be nice, too.
You’ll probably find a few different options for polenta/grits at the grocery store; some have unnecessary additives and some take longer to cook. I recommend using Bob’s Red Mill’s polenta since it worked great for me and doesn’t contain any extraneous ingredients.
Another suggestion? Polenta is at its creamy best when served fresh, so this is not the best option for leftovers. Please let me know how you make your bowls in the comments!