A breakfast polenta is a thing of beauty: almost no stirring and still lots of flavor. For the best look as well as taste, be sure to use the beige Calimyrna figs, rather than the darker black Mission variety. And if you don’t have a fancy for dried figs, substitute dried cherries, particularly dried sour cherries.
2 cups polenta, preferably coarse-ground polenta or corn grits (do not use instant)
7 oz. dried Calimyrna figs, stemmed and coarsely chopped (about 1-1/4 cups)
1/4 cup honey, more for serving if desired
2 Tbs. sugar
8 oz. Brie, rind removed, then diced
Chopped pistachios, for serving (optional)
Tip:The easiest way to dice Brie is to freeze it first for 30 minutes, then spray a sharp chef’s knife with nonstick spray before you start. However, you’ll need to let those little chunks come back to room temperature before stirring them into the polenta so they melt evenly.
In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine the polenta, figs, honey, sugar, 1 tsp. salt, and 7 cups of water. Cover and cook on low, stirring once halfway through, until the polenta is creamy and thickened slightly, about 4 hours total.
Stir in the Brie, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. If you like, sprinkle with pistachios and drizzle with additional honey before serving.
Make Ahead Tips
The porridge can sit on the keep-warm setting for up to 3 hours after cooking. It can get a little thick as it sits, though, so if necessary, thin it out with a little extra water, heat on low for 15 minutes, and then stir in the Brie.
Photo: Scott Phillips