Romanian polenta is a surprise. Polenta is more commonly used in Romania perhaps than in Italy. Romanians sure know how to prepare polenta, it is quite a rustic dish. Try this version with sour cream and herbs.
Polenta is a traditional Romanian food but what is most surprising to me is how popular, polenta is in Romanian restaurants. There is maybe more widespread use in Romania of polenta, particularly in winter, than I observed in Italy.
Romanian tradition demands polenta be cooked over an open fire. The tradition continues today in Bucharest where even in the suburbs, Bucaresti’s still prepare polenta outside, over flame. We have all the secrets of how to prepare polenta for a crowd.
Check out the video for all the insights from a local Bucaresti on the best way to prepare polenta. Perfect for a crowd, all the secrets in 45 seconds.
And, Romanian polenta can easily become a vegan polenta recipe by substituting the dairy products with vegetable stock. The addition of some fresh herbs and you have a great base for stews, or a great gluten-free breakfast, which you can easily cook inside.
Romanian cuisine is full of surprises. Get our observations on the capital, Bucharest. A cool city deserving your attention before the rest of the world discovers Bucharest, Romania and other Eastern European countries.
Romanians Enjoy a Party Outside
Experience Bucharest for yourself in late spring and early summer, and you will see all the family groups and young folks outside enjoying themselves. Bucharest is a fun city!
Great places to visit in Bucharest include wandering through the Old Town. Get lost in a pedestrian zone just full of great restaurants and bars.
And did I mention coffee? Bucharest might just be one of the best places in Europe to enjoy a great coffee. As someone from Melbourne, I was extremely impressed with the quality and the large number of great Bucharest cafes.
Walking around old town you can see how widespread serving of polenta is at the many, traditional Romanian restaurants.
But it is in the suburbs where Romanians can prepare polenta, outside and under flame, paying homage to their ancestral roots.
Looking for Romanian cuisine we ventured out to Lulu’s Social Bistro, not too far from old town. There was a big group there to dine out on grilled meats. And one of the accompaniments was a simple polenta recipe like this one.
Rather than listen to me, hear it from the man himself. Our Bucaresti chef from Lulu’s Social Bistro, explains what’s in the dish and how to make it. Romanian cuisine at its best.
Polenta has great versatility. The recipe below becomes a vegan polenta recipe by substituting vegetable stock for a couple of dairy ingredients.
Here is the interview:
Romanian Polenta, a Simple Polenta Recipe
We made this gluten-free, Romanian polenta after leaving underrated Bucharest. You don’t need to cook outside over an open flame to enjoy this.
We held back a little on the traditional, Romanian method of using more milk. We have gone with a blend of chicken (or vegetable) stock, milk and sour cream (you can replace with vegetable stock) making this an option to be a great vegan polenta recipe, as well.
I also love this traditional Romanian polenta is a quick and healthy gluten-free foundation option, alongside with rice. Try this polenta with pork goulash. It’s a great combination to experience Romanian cuisine.
|Prep Time||Cook Time|
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 3 onions, green (spring) chopped
- 1.5 cups milk
- 2 cups water
- .5 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp salt, ground sea
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
- 1 tsp thyme, fresh
- 1 cup corn meal polenta
- 4 tbsp parsley fresh, chopped
- In a large, heavy-based saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat. Add the garlic and green onions. Gently saute until the garlic softens, about 3-5 minutes.
- Turn up the heat to medium, add the milk, water and sour cream. As the mixture approaches a simmer, turn the heat down to medium. Add the sea salt, black pepper and thyme.
- Stirring the mixture with a whisk, slowly add the corn meal. Stir constantly for a few minutes until the mixture starts to thicken. Then allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the polenta is cooked. Add more milk, if the mixture becomes to thick.
- Serve in a deep bowl and garnish with the fresh parsley.
We visited Bucharest as guests of #ExperienceBucharest, a five-day event featuring media and influencers from all over the world.
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