Mushroom and Herb Polenta

Anthropologie is a favorite shop I like to frequent.  It’s an interesting mix of clothing, accessories, gifts and home décor all which draw me in…it’s eclectic and I love it!  The books they showcase are unique and it was at their Rockefeller Center that I spotted Yotam Ottolenghi’s book, Plenty.  It’s a vegetarian cookbook although the author is not vegetarian.  He contributes a vegetarian column in the Guardian Weekend magazine and the recipes for his book are from there.  I’ve made a ton of polenta recipes over the years but this one has to be the best thus far!

Serves 2
adapted from Plenty

4 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups (300g) mixed mushrooms, cleaned
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon truffle oil
Salt and pepper
2 1/14 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup polenta
3 oz. Parmesan, grated
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
4 oz. Taleggio, cut into 1cm slices

In a frying pan, heat half the oil over medium-high heat. Add half the mushrooms and fry a few minutes – try not to move them much so you get golden-brown patches on their surface. Remove from the pan, reheat the remaining oil and repeat with the rest of the mushrooms. Off the heat, return all the mushrooms to the pan, add the garlic, tarragon, thyme and truffle oil, season, and keep warm.

Bring the stock to a boil, slowly stir in the polenta, reduce the heat to minimum and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. The polenta is ready when it leaves the sides of the pan but is still runny (instant polenta won’t take more than five minutes; the real stuff will take up to 50). When the polenta is ready, stir in the Parmesan, butter, rosemary, and season.

polenta spread, ready for cheese & mushroom toppings
(let polenta cool a bit before placing under broiler)


soft Taleggio

Spread polenta over a heatproof serving dish and top with taleggio. Place under the broiler until the cheese bubbles. Remove from heat and top with the mushrooms and their juices and return to the broiler for a minute to warm up the mushrooms.  Serve hot and garnish with fresh thyme.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  My goodness, I could eat this every day!  Delicious earthy flavors from the mushrooms and herbs…what a treat!  Enjoy this with a glass of red.  Cheers!