Polenta is cornmeal. Masa is cornmeal. Grits is cornmeal.

It makes me wonder whether I can take a package of prepared polenta and stuff it in corn husks with pulled pork and call it a tamale. No? What if I mix it up with a little cumin and bacon grease before I use it, then?

Anyway, I was messing around with leftovers in the fridge yesterday and ended up with this salad, which was pretty good. My idea of what a salad is has been changing lately–some sort of melange including dressing, with or without lettuce.

Polenta Salad

(for one)

4 1/2-inch slices of prepared polenta
2 T olive oil
1 thin slice of red onion, rings pulled apart
1 orange, rind removed and cut into circles
thin shavings of peccorino romano
cherry-balsamic vinegar
fresh thyme leaves (optional)

Add the olive oil to a saute pan and raise the heat to medium. Add the slices of polenta and cook until just turning brown, sprinkling them with salt to taste. Arrange warm on a plate, alternating slices of onion, orange, and polenta. Sprinkle the vinegar over the salad, then add the cheese and thyme leaves, if using.