Polenta is a nice change of pace from potatoes or rice. I like Pastene quick cooking polenta. Boil two cups of salted water. Add a cup of polenta to the boiling water in a slow, steady stream; stirring constantly for two to three minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in some butter, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Adding some Parmesan cheese and/or an herb of your choice is a nice touch, but not necessary. At this point, you can use the polenta as a simple side dish, or as a soft creamy base for a stew or braise.
If you want to elevate this to another level, spread the polenta on a flat surface to cool and harden. I spread it out on parchment paper on a quarter sheet pan. It will harden pretty quickly. Putting it in the frig makes the process go even faster. I use a wide mouthed glass to cut circles, but simple squares work equally well. Just before dinner, fry the polenta in a combination of olive oil and butter until both sides are light brown and crispy. The inside will be soft.
Starting to get excited about Fall foods!