I’m so lucky that Q’s family has accepted me as one of their own. As an only child, I never had siblings. I definitely have “only child” traits- i.e. difficulty sharing, used to getting my way, need my alone time (I’m a catch, aren’t I?). But by dating Q, I adopted his sister, brother-in-law and niece as my own. The first time they called me “sis” I cried.
Q’s mom is just as amazing and has become a second mom to me. She recently took a trip to London (she lives in Ireland) and had dinner at Yotam Ottolenghi’s restaurant. Knowing how much I love his food, she sent me back a signed copy of his new book “Plenty.” I couldn’t wait to try some of his new recipes (all vegetarian).
Last night, I made this Mushroom and Herb Polenta for dinner. When I suggested to Q that when he gets back from “the ‘Stan” we should implement Meatless Mondays in our house he laughed and said “more like Meaty Mondays.” So I guess I have to take advantage of going meatless while he is gone!
This recipe is relatively simple and so worth the time spent to make it. I devoured my piece and can’t wait to have more for lunch today. For your mushrooms, you can use a mixed variety like we did from the Farmers’ Market or just use brown or white creminis.
Mushroom and Herb Polenta
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups mixed mushrooms (very large ones halved)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed (not minced)
- 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
- 1 tablespoon truffle oil
- 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock (we used chicken)
- 1 cup polenta (instant or traditional, we used instant)
- 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- salt and black pepper
- Preheat your broiler to high. Grease a baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil spray or Pam. Set aside.
- Heat up the olive oil in a large frying pan. Once hot, add your mushrooms and fry for a few minutes, or until just cooked; try no to move them much so you get golden-brown patches on their surface. Remove from heat, add garlic, tarragon, thyme, truffle oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.
- Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly stir in the polenta, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. The polenta is ready when it leaves the sides of the pan but is still runny (about 5 minutes for instant polenta and 50 minutes for traditional). When the polenta is ready, stir in 3/4 cup Parmesan, butter, rosemary, and 1/2 tablespoon of parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the polenta over your baking sheet and top with the rest of the Parmesan. Place the baking sheet under the broiler until cheese bubbles (about 5-7 minutes). Remove from broiler, top with the mushrooms and their juices. (*Make sure to take out your two garlic cloves from your mushrooms.) Return to broiler for 1 minutes to warm up. Serve hot, garnish with the remaining parsley.
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty