This creamy polenta with roasted tomatoes and poached eggs makes for an inexpensive, yet super beautiful gluten free brunch, lunch or dinner recipe.
Oh polenta. You’re literally the cheapest thing in the world to make, yet fancy Italian restaurants downtown are charging like $25 a bowl – maybe $50 if it comes topped with truffles. I pretty much always have a pack of simple cornmeal in my pantry for whipping up into creamy dreamy polenta because it makes a perfect side dish on the fly.
What is Polenta?
Polenta is an Italian porridge made from any medium or coarse-ground cornmeal. It’s a naturally gluten free whole grain that has a natural sweetness when cooked. I really don’t like the instant polenta because I find it yields a bit of a gloopy glue-like porridge, but real polenta with a little cheese action is truly the stuff dreams are made of.
The Key to Awesome Polenta
Honestly, this comes down to the grain to liquid ratio. In my experience, a 1 part cornmeal to 5 parts liquid yields the creamiest, lightest polenta. You also do have to stand around to give it a good stir every minute or so, much like you would with risotto.
How to Make Polenta FASTER
But wait! Can we simplify the process? Yes, loves, yes you can. Now, the time-starved mom in me had to figure out a way to make this creamy polenta with roasted tomatoes and poached eggs on the fly. By simply soaking your cornmeal overnight, you can cut your stirring and cooking time virtually in half which will save you the extreme bicep workout on one arm.
How to Make this Gluten Free Creamy Polenta with Roasted Tomatoes and Poached Eggs
Once you’ve soaked your polenta, just transfer it to a sauce pot along with a little butter and salt and stir, vigorously, until it starts to loosen up. Keep stirring as you reduce the heat, then add in some fresh or frozen corn to add a little supple texture and sweetness.
I like serving my creamy polenta with balsamic roasted tomatoes, and topping it off with some poached eggs for protein and healthy fats. I also like things that are crunchy on top of things that are super creamy like this polenta so I add a little corn nuts for good measure.
Polenta usually has a TON of butter, and cheese in it, so the amounts I add are actually quite modest, but if you want to make this gluten free creamy polenta totally dairy free as well, you can absolutely use olive oil and omit the cheese. Trust me, it’s amazing regardless.
Alright loves, now you have to tell me your secrets to amazingly creamy polenta?
Have you tried this gluten free creamy polenta recipe with roasted tomatoes and poached eggs?
Leave me a comment below with your thoughts!
Gluten Free Creamy Polenta with Roasted Tomatoes and Poached Eggs
- 5 cups water
- 1 ½ tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 cups of frozen corn or 3 cobs of corn kernels removed
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup part-skim ricotta
- Roasted Balsamic Tomato:
- 6 roma tomatoes cut in half lengthwise and seeded
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 small cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 large eggs
- ¼ cup corn nuts
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- The night before, mix together the water and cornmeal and allow to sit overnight at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 450 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with olive oil and spread onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle with the garlic, drizzle with balsamic and add a pinch each of salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes until caramelized and shrunken.
- In a medium saucepot, bring the water and polenta mixture to a boil and add in the butter and salt. Start whisking continuously. The polenta should be spitting. After about 3 minutes of whisking, reduce the heat to low to stop the spitting and continue to stir frequently with a silicone spatula. After 20 minutes, stir in the corn, parmesan and ricotta, and continue to cook until the polenta pulls away from the sides of the pot, about another 10 minutes. Season with pepper, to taste.
- Finally, bring a pan of water filled 4 inches high with water to a simmer. One at a time, crack your egg into a small bowl and tip it into the pan. Cook in barely simmering water until white Is set, about 4 minutes. Remove egg with a slotted spoon to a plate with paper towel and top with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
- To serve, divide the polenta into six bowls, top with the roasted tomatoes, eggs, corn nuts, and basil. Enjoy immediately.
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian, an avid food writer and blogger, a cookbook author and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc.