A bowl of fresh corn polenta with blistered cherry tomatoes.

Fresh corn polenta: a love story.

I discovered you this time last year. I was out to eat. You were in my bowl, melting beneath red wine braised short ribs. You were the very best polenta I had ever tasted, your sweet corn flavor discernible even through the brothy meat smothering you.

How could this be, I wondered? I chalked it up to lots of butter and cheese and the sort of restaurant trickery that just can’t be duplicated at home. And so I forgot about you. For a whole year. Tragic! Fresh corn polenta: I’m so happy you’re back in my life. And in my home no less, this time for good.

This is the sort of recipe I want to tell everyone about. I want to call all of my friends and family. I want to spark up conversation with people in checkout lines, knock on my neighbors’ doors, stop strangers in the street. It is so good and much to my surprise calls for no sort of restaurant magic — just a box grater, a little butter, and a sauté pan.

It’s the kind of thing I could eat every night for dinner, and this week I basically have. I love it with sautéed greens or with a poached egg or just on its own with some cracked pepper and parmesan cheese. Before the season ends, I hope to try it with some sautéed mushrooms, too, which is how they serve it at La Toque, the source of this wonderful recipe.

You’ll discover it takes no time to whip up, just a little elbow grease during preparations — grating the ears of corn can be tiring. With that in mind, this is not a dish to make for company. It is the perfect dinner-for-1 or-2. It is simple and delicious. It is restaurant worthy certainly, but comfort food at its core. And I hope it will leave you wondering, as it has left me, where have you been all my life?

Fresh Corn Polenta, Step by Step

First gather your corn.

A pile of corn.

You’ll need two ears for this recipe, but scale it up as needed, keeping in mind grating corn on a box grater is a bit of an arm workout.

Two ears of corn on a countertop.

Grate the corn into a large bowl.

Grated corn in a bowl.

Melt two teaspoons of butter in a small skillet over medium heat.

A skillet with melted butter.

Add the corn, season with salt…

A skillet with fresh corn polenta cooking in it.

… and cook for 3 minutes.

A skillet with fresh corn polenta cooking in it.

For the blistered tomatoes: place a pint of cherry tomatoes in a small skillet.

A pint of cherry tomatoes in a skillet aside olive oil, garlic, and salt.

Toss with olive oil, salt, and garlic, and broil for 15 minutes.

A skillet with cherry tomatoes coated in olive oil.

Add fresh basil out of the oven.

A skillet with blistered cherry tomatoes.

Spoon the jammy tomatoes over the fresh corn polenta.

A bowl of fresh corn polenta with blistered cherry tomatoes.

Finish with fresh parmesan and pepper to taste, if you wish.

A bowl of fresh corn polenta with blistered cherry tomatoes.

Also delicious with a poached egg on top.

A plate of fresh corn polenta topped with a poached egg.
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Fresh Corn Polenta with Blistered Tomatoes

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Original recipe hails from La Toque, where they serve it with sautéed chanterelles. Yum.

This is also delicious topped with a poached egg or aside sautéed greens


For the polenta:

  • 2 ears corn
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • kosher salt or flaky sea salt

For the blistered tomatoes:

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt or flaky sea salt
  • a handful of fresh basil

For finishing:

  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste 


  1. If you’re making the blistered tomatoes, prep them first. Heat the broiler to high.
  2. Place the tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic in a small skillet or oven-safe dish. Season with a pinch of salt, then toss to coat. Transfer pan to the broiler and broil for 10 to 15 minutes, checking every five minutes — if the tomatoes are blistering within 5 minutes, lower the rack. Ultimately the tomatoes should be both blistered and jammy. 
  3. Remove pan from the broiler, and stir in the handful of basil. 
  4. Meanwhile, clean the corn, removing all husks and threads. Working over a large bowl, grate the kernels off of the cob on the coarse side of a box grater. You will have a very wet coarse pulpy mixture.
  5. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the grated corn and season with a good pinch of salt. Simmer over low heat, stirring to prevent browning, for about 3 minutes. The mixture is ready when it just begins to thicken and set.
  6. Spoon the polenta into a serving bowl. Top with the jammy, blistered tomatoes. Top with some grated Parmigiano Reggiano and pepper to taste if you wish. 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American