Cranberry Polenta Recipe

A new twist on standard morning fare offers guests a hearty wake-up call with this sweet, cornmeal-based breakfast bread.

1 tbsp salt
2 cups polenta or coarsely ground yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Honey or pure maple syrup, warmed


Step 1: In a deep saucepan bring 6 cups water to a boil over high heat. Add the salt and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. While stirring continuously with a long-handled wooden spoon, add the polenta in a slow, steady stream. Cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is thick enough for the spoon to stand up in it, about 20 minutes.

Step 2: Divide the butter in half. Cut one half into small pieces; reserve the other half. Stir butter pieces into polenta until melted. Stir in dried cranberries.

Step 3: Pour into a lightly greased 5″ x 9″ loaf pan, pressing it evenly into the corners. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days.

Step 4: To remove loaf, briefly dip pan into hot water and slide a blunt knife around edges. Invert loaf onto a flat surface. Slice as you would bread.

Step 5: Preheat the oven to 200°F. In a large skillet, melt the remaining butter, about 2 tbsp at a time as needed, over medium-high heat. Add a few polenta slices at a time and fry until golden brown on one side, about 8-10 minutes. Turn and brown the other side, about 8-10 minutes more. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and keep warm in the oven until all the slices are cooked, using remaining butter as needed. Serve warm with honey or maple syrup.


Yvonne Duivenvoorden