Our January Cookbook of the Month shares some of the best home cooking on the web, all plucked from the best of the best of Food52. The blog hosts a recipe contest in a different category every week, and these are the first batch of winners (more to come, we hope!). It's no wonder that, according to our cooking columnist, The Food52 Cookbook is a "dazzler."

This recipe is utterly flexible and undeniably delicious.

Blueberry Almond Breakfast Polenta

By One Hungry Mama ? Serves 3 to 4

A&M: One Hungry Mama gave us the history of this dish: “This recipe came to me right as I was about to overextend myself: I was eight months pregnant and, with a day of cooking ahead of me, almost decided to whip up impromptu blueberry corn muffins for breakfast. As I stared at the cornmeal trying to gear up to bake, it struck me: breakfast polenta!” Inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe, she blends almond meal with the polenta and cooks the two together, later adding vanilla, fresh blueberries, and cardamom. A bit of honey lends just the right amount of sweetness—a light touch keeps it from being cloying.

  • 4 cups whole milk

  • 3 ?4 cup quick-cooking polenta

  • 1?2 cup almond meal

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1?3 cup honey

  • 1 cup blueberries, plus more for serving

  • 1?2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Pinch of cardamom (or up to 1?4 teaspoon)

  • Creme fraiche or sour cream

1. Bring the milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan over high heat.

2. Reduce the heat to low and add the polenta, whisking constantly until smooth. Add the almond meal and continue whisking for several minutes until the polenta thickens to a creamy consistency. Add the butter and whisk until it melts completely.

3. Turn the heat off and whisk in the honey, blueberries, vanilla, and cardamom. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream and an extra sprinkle of blueberries.

Tips and Techniques

We tried this with hazelnut meal instead of almond meal, too, and loved it just as much. You can also be flexible with the fruit: use whatever berries are in season.

About the Cook

Stacie Bills lives in Brooklyn, New York, and writes about food and parenting on her blog, One Hungry Mama (www.onehungrymama.com). Her favorite recipe from a cookbook: “Mark Bittman’s Orzo Risotto from How to Cook Everything because it’s simple, endlessly adaptable, can be fed to anyone (even a six-month-old!) and, of course, is utterly delicious however you personalize it.”

What the Community Said

CASJ: “I am eating a bowl of this right now—it is wonderful—I never would have thought to add the almond meal. Thanks for the great recipe!”

Excerpted from The Food52 Cookbook by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs (Morrow). Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Read our review of this book.

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