Growing up in the South (which one of my friends informed me is incorrect; according to her, Texas is part of the West, not part of the South), and (more to the point) with a mother who grew up in Georgia, I was raised to eat grits on a regular basis. I never got into the whole oatmeal thing in the morning; give me a salty, buttery bowl of grits over your best fruity, sweet oatmeal any day.
Having said that, my culinary experience hasn’t traditionally stretched very far into the polenta field. Polenta, which is a more solid–and Italian–form of grits, has always been something I’ve enjoyed while out, and once or twice I’ve made it. But generally, I’ve left polenta to the peeps whose last names would fit in on the Jersey Shore cast list.
But something sparked my imagination the other day, and I realized that it had been far too long since I made polenta. I don’t even know what it was; suddenly, halfway through a run, the thought lodged itself in my mind and wouldn’t let go. So home I ran (literally) and pulled out my package of corn grits to make polenta.
I jazzed this polenta up a bit with spinach, but otherwise it’s pretty standard Italian fare. Often people top polenta with fresh tomato sauce, and that makes a sweet addition to this dish. Though you can’t see it in the photos, I did top mine with freshly crushed tomatoes. And though I didn’t add cheese, parmasan is also a traditional topping for polenta.
Either way, this polenta was good enough for me to consider changing my last name to Polizzi. (Ok, not really.)