Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

Creamy Leek Polenta

Written by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
Photo by Kayla Coleman

The buttery texture of the leeks and soft texture of the polenta culminate in creamy perfection.

Serves 4 to 6

•2 tablespoons nondairy butter (such as Earth Balance), divided
•3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced and diced
•2 cups (or more) water
•2-1/4 cups vegetable broth
•1 cup coarse cornmeal (polenta)
•1/2 to 3/4 cup nondairy milk (almond, soy, rice, hemp, oat, hazelnut)
•1 teaspoon salt, added gradually (and you may not use all; depends on your taste)
•Freshly ground pepper, to taste


1. Melt 1 tablespoon of the nondairy butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add the leeks, and stir to coat. Cover and cook until leeks soften, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the water and broth, cover, and bring to a boil. Slowly pour in the polenta, while whisking simultaneously. Whisking is essential, or the cornmeal will clump up.

4. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the mixture is thick and creamy. At this point, you’ll want to switch to a wooden spoon, stirring often. As it begins to thicken, add some of the milk, stir, and continue cooking. Add about 1⁄4 teaspoon salt. Continue stirring, cooking, and adding more milk and salt, until you’ve got a creamy mixture.

5. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in the remaining tablespoon of nondairy butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and divide the polenta among plates.

Five-time cookbook author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is founder of the 30-Day Vegan Challenge where participants receive a daily email covering a different practical topic, from vegan cooking to shopping to reading labels to socializing and traveling.

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