August 14, 2016 13

How To Make Fresh Corn Polenta + scenes from midsummer!

Vegan, fresh corn polenta made from corn on the cob.
How To Make Fresh Corn Polenta | @withfoodandlove

It’s hard to escape fresh sweet corn.

In the summer.

In the Midwest.

With this I have been making fresh corn polenta all summer long. Which is much different than traditional polenta made from ground corn, and in my opinion way better. It’s creamy and rich. Very rich, and a little goes a long way. Fresh and sweet. Quite sweet, and salty/savory pairings here are very important. Simple and versatile. Versatility is one of its best features. It pairs well with any deeply braised veg, sharp cheese, poached eggs, and/or meat and fish if that’s your thing.

Fresh corn polenta is made in four super easy steps. Shuck/shave/milk the cobs. Gently simmer the kernels/flesh/juices in a small amount of water. Process the cooked corn with pepper. Simmer pureed corn once more with butter {or substitution} and herbs and more salt and pepper and you’re done.

How To Make Fresh Corn Polenta | @withfoodandlove

How To Make Fresh Corn Polenta | @withfoodandlove

How To Make Fresh Corn Polenta | @withfoodandlove

How To Make Fresh Corn Polenta | @withfoodandlove

Polenta, fresh or ground has been on repeat here all season long. Midsummer, my latest pop-up that took place at Living Room in July had polenta on the menu, front and center. I originally wanted to fresh corn polenta, but I didn’t have enough of the right product to do that. But I did have plenty of delicious produce to work with thanks to Bohlen Family Farms, based in Ferguson. So much gratitude for what you do and for your produce contribution.

Partnering with local farmers and purveyors is an integral part of my pop-up process. It not only allows me to create a seasonal, locally inspired menu, but it also keeps ticket prices down making these events within reach for all {or most} – the goal behind all of this. A week before Midsummer I drove to the Bohlen Family Farm in Perryville, MO to check out what they had going on, meet David, the genius behind it all and have ourselves a proper heirloom tomato tasting.

And a final thank you to making Midsummer come true! To the whole crew at the Living Room, Bohlen Family Farms of course, Old Bakery Beer Company, Aeries Resort, and all the lovely people who wanted to spend their night with me, eating plants and talking about the mystery of life and things. All the love, all the time.

MIDSUMMER – July 14, 2016

The Smash
pinckney bend gin, eckert’s blackberries, hibiscus syrup, lemon thyme

Cream of Basil Soup with Cucumber + Corn Salad
cashews, genovese basil, cucumber, sweet corn

Heirloom Tomato with Sorrel Sauce
yellow heirloom, sorrel, flory’s truckle, holy basil blossoms

Polenta with Coffee-Braised Summer Vegetables
braggadocio organic polenta, zucchini, arthouse coffee

Raw Tart with Macerated Berries
cashews, oat crust, eckert’s blackberries, seed geek honey, lemon thyme

The Nightcap
360 vodka, big o ginger liquer, bitts cold press, chicory, syrup, cashew milk

p.s. My next pop-up dinner, Early Autumn on 9/22 is sold out. But, you should totally add your name to the waitlist because seats open up from time to time as it nears.

Midsummer | @withfoodandlove

Boolean Family Farms | @withfoodandlove

Boolean Family Farms | @withfoodandlove

Midsummer | @withfoodandlove

Midsummer | @withfoodandlove

Fresh Corn Polenta

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Serves 4 cups

Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi, via Plenty. If you can't source fresh corn or if it isn't the summertime, this recipe can work with frozen corn too. It isn't quite the same, but it definitely works. Substitute in 6 cups frozen kernels in place of the 8 ears.


  • 8 ears sweet corn
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, final chopped


  1. Shuck and rinse the ears of corn, and pat dry. With a sharp knife slice the kernels off the cob and into a large sauce pot. Next milk the cob by sliding the back of your knife down the cob to remove the remaining juice and meat. Discard the cobs.
  2. Add just enough water to the pot to cover the kernels. Add ½ teaspoon salt, stir and cover. Place over high heat until a gentle boil starts. Reduce the heat to low, keep covered and simmer for 8 minutes.
  3. Strain the corn and discard the water. Add the corn and pepper to a food processor and process until smooth, this might take about one minute. Return the puree to the pot and add in the remaining salt, butter and parsley. Cook over low heat, while constantly stirring for 3 minutes. Serve warm and right away.

This post is in partnership with Living Room, Bohlen Family Farms, Old Bakery Beer Company + Aeries Resort; thanks for supplying the beautiful space and goods.


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13 Responses to "How To Make Fresh Corn Polenta + scenes from midsummer!"

  1. Reply


    August 14, 2016 at 7:57 PM

    Oh my Sherrie. This is all so very yum and beautiful. I can’t wait to try this fresh corn polenta! And that menu – so good!

    • Reply


      August 18, 2016 at 10:34 PM

      I hope you like it Lea, let me know how it turns out for you! :)

  2. Reply

    Jess @Nourished by Nutrition

    August 14, 2016 at 8:22 PM

    I’d absolutely love to come to one of your dinners. The food and presentation have all been stunning! Thanks for sharing this recipe. It sounds delicious and so easy!

    • Reply


      August 18, 2016 at 10:36 PM

      That would be lovely, you’re welcome anytime! xx

  3. Reply


    August 14, 2016 at 8:52 PM

    Sherrie – this is a great polenta recipe. My sister is visiting this week. She brought a bag of eggplants. Looking forward to making this yummy recipe to go along with our sicilian eggplant recipe. Thank you for sharing. – Grace

    • Reply


      August 18, 2016 at 10:36 PM

      Let me know how it turns out for you guys. Enjoy your time with your sister!

  4. Reply

    Genevieve @ Gratitude and Greens

    August 16, 2016 at 7:04 AM

    Totally swooning over that Midsummer menu, and this fresh corn polenta is just amazing! That colour is glorious. I’ve never made fresh corn polenta but I’ve been eating heaps and heaps of fresh corn while I can. Found a nice selection of non-GMO corn at my local organics store so that’s where I’m getting mine from. SO GOOD! xoxo

    • Reply


      August 18, 2016 at 10:37 PM

      Hoard that corn girl. Also, get your butt to one of my pop-ups. I should really schedule one when you’ll be in town.

  5. Reply

    Abby @ Heart of a Baker

    August 18, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    I’m SO glad to know you have an event on November 6th, hoping I can come to that one! Also, as a Midwest girl, I’m all about the corn right now! xo

    • Reply


      August 18, 2016 at 10:38 PM

      Abby, I so hope you can make the 11/6 event. Fingers-crossed for you!

  6. Reply

    Fran Campbell

    August 18, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    The end result is similar to the fresh corn grits recipe that has appeared in Food and Wine. I’ve made it several times.

  7. Reply

    Sara @ Cake Over Steak

    August 19, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    Omg girl these popups sound amaaaazzzzing. And I think if I made this fresh corn polenta my husband would poop his pants in excitment.

  8. Reply


    August 21, 2016 at 11:27 PM

    I have deep south USA DNA in me. I eat so much Italian food that I might as well have some of that DNA, as well. Shame, shame, shame on me for never going for such a recipe. You make me hungry and happy. With food and love, x.

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With Food + Love © 2018 | All photos + words belong to Sherrie Castellano -- they cannot be used or distributed without permission.