Creamy Leek Polenta
The buttery texture of the leeks and soft texture of the polenta culminate in creamy
2 tablespoons nondairy butter (such as Earth Balance), divided
3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced and diced
2 cups (or more) water
2-1/4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup coarse cornmeal (polenta)
1/2 to 3/4 cup nondairy milk (almond, soy, rice, hemp, oat, hazelnut)
1 teaspoon salt, added gradually (and you may not use all; depends on your taste)
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Melt 1 tablespoon of the nondairy butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat.
Add the leeks, and stir to coat. Cover and cook until leeks soften, stirring
occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Add the water and broth, cover, and bring to a boil. Slowly pour in the polenta, while
whisking simultaneously. Whisking is essential, or the cornmeal will clump up.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the mixture is thick and creamy. At
this point, you’ll want to switch to a wooden spoon, stirring often. As it begins to
thicken, add some of the milk, stir, and continue cooking. Add about ¼ teaspoon salt.
Continue stirring, cooking, and adding more milk and salt, until you’ve got a creamy
Remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in the remaining tablespoon of
nondairy butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and divide the polenta among
Serves 4 to 6
I love the combination of mushrooms and polenta, and the chewy texture is a nice
foil to the creamy polenta. Slice up some brown cremini, shitake, or porcini
mushrooms, sauté them in a little olive oil with some tamari, and add to the top of
each serving of polenta.
One of the brilliant things about polenta is that it sets up once it starts to cool, so
whatever creamy polenta you don’t finish can be poured into a serving dish and
stored in the fridge overnight (or for a couple days) to set up. Then, you can cut it
into squares and fry, bake, or grill it (or just heat up using your favorite method).
Gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free (if using soy-free Earth Balance and milk), tree-nutfree, peanut-free
*NOTE: If you want to make it oil-free, you can eliminate the Earth Balance
completely (sauté the leeks in a tablespoon of water instead.) The Earth Balance
definitely adds more creaminess and salt, so adjust accordingly.
Recipe provided by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, http://www.