Mashed potatoes are a timeless American classic. They soak up everything and anything and are even great on their own. However, I think I’ve been converted to the Italian equivalent. Equally as delicious and versatile, yet interestingly different and just as classic, it’s the grain that Italians have been eating forever under their osso bucco and as an accompaniment to their anything. Polenta, if cooked well, is velvety, creamy and oh-so-delectable.

However, I have to admit that it’s taken me forever to make a great bowl of polenta. Not because it’s that difficult, but because I had always been cooking/using it the wrong way… until this Christmas, when I followed no recipe and just added things here and there that I thought would taste good. What came out was something incredibly delicious and equally as easy. Lots of cheese and butter makes this dish luxurious and creamy, yet because of the fresh lemon zest and chives, it’s still incredibly fresh and light. Give this recipe a try, but be careful, you may never want to eat you mother’s mashed potatoes again.

Chive and Lemon Polenta

  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup polenta (yellow cornmeal)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt
  • coarse black pepper


Add vegetable stock to a large, heavy bottomed pot and heat until stock is almost boiling. Add polenta and stir quickly to ensure polenta does not clump. Keep stirring for about three minutes or until polenta begins to thicken, then add lemon zest and cheese. Continue to stir until you reach desired consistency. Stir in chives, butter and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped chives and lemon zest.

Serve warm.


Featured image via Shutterstock