Polenta is made from maize or corn which is then boiled with water until thickened. It is often eaten instead of bread by Italians and, although quite bland in its own right, can really come to life in the right company.
Cook with water for 30-40 minutes before adding butter and Parmesan for extra richness. Make sure to stir constantly.
Once cooked, it can be sliced then grilled or fried. A quick-cook slab available in supermarkets can be grilled or fried too, but doesn’t taste quite as good as the real thing.