One of the best things about this blog is that it makes me try new things, such as: polenta! Perfect with the mushrooms I still had in the fridge. And today it felt like summer is almost over with the air being crisp in the morning and the first leaves falling, so maybe it was time for a more hearty and warming dish. As it turns out, polenta is kind of foolproof to make, and it doesn’t require much attention. Nice! The mushrooms also developed some good flavour with the addition of vinegar, rosemary and tarragon. Maybe you’d like to substitute the vinegar with some white wine, which might be even better.
Ingredients (for two small portions):
500 ml water
125 g polenta (2/3 cup)
A few tablespoons of olive oil
100 g (about 1 1/2 cups) mixed mushrooms (I used champignons and shitake)
Three spring onions, chopped
Two cloves of garlic
A few tablespoons of oat milk, soy milk or cream
Salt and pepper
One teaspoon of rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
Bring the water to a boil in a pot or saucepan and add half a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of olive oil. Reduce the heat so the water is simmering and whisk in the polenta. Stirring occasionally, let the polenta thicken over very low heat for about seven minutes. Then scrape it out of the pot with a spatula and paste it onto a flat surface, such as a cutting board or a large plate. It should be about an inch or 2cm thick. Let it cool off for ten minutes or so.
Meanwhile, clean and slice the mushrooms and chop the garlic. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add both, stirring well so the mushrooms can brown but not burn. You can add a sprig of rosemary, thyme or tarragon if you like. After a few minutes, deglaze the mushrooms with the white wine. Add the oat milk or cream and let them cook for about five minutes. Season with salt.
When the polenta has become firm, cut it into squares or round shapes (I used the rim of a water glass to make the cut outs). Remove the mushrooms from the pan and heat up another tablespoon of olive oil. Fry the polenta pieces for two minutes on each side to give them a bit of crunch. When they have browned lightly, remove the polenta and use the same pan again to saute the chopped spring onions, just for two minutes. (You can use a different pan of course but I’m always happy if I have one less thing to clean. Also, it makes the flavors mix nicely.) Add more oil if needed. Arrange everything on plates and add fresh herbs if you like. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper. Enjoy!