This is an adapted recipe from Nourishing Traditions. I've made it on top of casseroles before but I made it on it's own this week and really enjoyed it. I managed to leave out the baking powder which gave a denser texture, somewhere between fluffy spoon bread and polenta. I really like it that way so I'm going to pretend I did it on purpose.
1/2 cup fine polenta (cornmeal)
1 cup buttermilk (or another slightly acidic soaking mixture)
1 large egg
pinch of salt
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 oz grated cheese
1/2 tsp baking powder (or not)
Soak the polenta in the buttermilk for 12-24 hours at room temperature. In NT there are instructions for a previous soak to free up the vitamin B3. I've never done this as quite honestly, getting my act together to soak it once is enough of a challenge!
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 /375 oF/ 190 oC. Separate the egg and place the white in a large bowl. With a pinch of salt, whisk the white until it forms soft peaks. Add the yolk to the polenta and whisk in. Add a pinch of salt, baking soda (if using) and the cayenne pepper and mix well. Stir in the grated cheese. If your bowl is big enough, then add the whites to the polenta mixture and cut in very gently with a metal spoon. If not then do it the other way around, but with a great deal of care so you don't lose the air in the whites.
Put the mixture in a buttered dish and bake for 45 - 60 minutes. I suggest letting it cool somewhat before serving as it gets easier. This dish is also delicious cold as a snack.