mushroom and herb polenta

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You know that cookbook Plenty that everyone has been talking about? Well this is why it's worthy of all the attention: recipes that make you forget you are eating vegetarian.  

Since getting the book, we've probably made this recipe ten times. Once on New Years as a crowd-pleasing appetizer. The polenta takes about 40 minutes to cook, but otherwise it's a quick prep, and you can improvise with what ever cheeses and herbs you have on hand. 

Adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi 

Mushroom and Herb Polenta

Serves 4

Mushroom and Herb Polenta

Serves 4

8 tbsp olive oil
6 cups mixed mushrooms, pick out 3-4 different types, be adventurous!
4 garlic cloves crushed
2 tbsp chopped tarragon
2 tbsp chopped thyme
2 tbsp
Salt and pepper
4 ½  cups vegetable stock
1 cup polenta
1 cup grated parmesan
2 tsp chopped rosemary
8 oz Taleggio cheese (rind removed) 

1. Polenta.  Bring stock to a boil in a saucepan. Add the polenta and stir with a wooden spoon, reduce the heat and continue to stir. It will

take about 40 minutes for the corn to soften and become a creamy porridge. You can tell the polenta is ready when it pulls away from the sides of the pan but isn’t dry (add a bit more stock if this is the case). At the end, stir in the parmesan and rosemary.

2. Herby Mushrooms. Heat the olive oil in a large fry pan and add half the mushrooms (remember what Julia said: Don’t crowd the mushrooms!). Fry for a few minutes until browned, not too long or the mushrooms become rubbery.  Remove from pan and repeat with the other half of the mushrooms. At the end, add the garlic, tarragon, and thyme to all the cooked mushrooms.

3. Assemble. When the polenta is ready pour out on polenta board and spread (I used a wooden cutting board). Top the hot polenta with slices of taleggio and pour the herby mushrooms over the top. It should all melt together nicely.

You can slice it up and serve it like pizza. But I think its fun to just give your guests forks and tell everyone to dig in!

Posted on March 19, 2012 and filed under Dinner, Recipe.