Heat water to boiling over medium-high heat. Add salt and cornmeal, whisking gently. Continue to whisk constantly until the mixture is thickened. Reduce heat to low and continue to whisk constantly for about 2 minutes or until thick.
Cover the pan and continue to cook for 30-35, whisking vigorously every 5-10 minutes, taking the time to scrape the sides of the pan. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and cheese until melted.
Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional butter or cheese if desired.
4 servings, 255 calories per serving
Hack: Polenta can be eaten alone or as a side dish to replace rice or potatoes.