Friday, June 7, 2013

Savory Polenta with Mushrooms

These last few weeks, my time "cooking" at home has consisted of nothing but watching Z barbecue our dinners in our backyard. This time of year, we live for cooking on the grill. But there was one random chilly night last week that had me craving something more comforting for dinner - and something that could be cooked and enjoyed indoors. We had a ton of cornmeal in our freezer, so I decided to turn some of it into an elegant and comforting dish of polenta.

Savory Polenta with Mushrooms
Yields: 4 servings
Adapted from Food Network
-3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
-1 small yellow onion, diced
-Salt and pepper
-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
-4 cups (1 quart) vegetable stock (or water)
-1 cup ground cornmeal
-8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
-Salt and pepper, to taste
-1 teaspoon dried parsley
-2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.) In a large, oven-safe saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, salt, and pepper and cook until the onions begin to turn translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic, and saute for about 1 minute, making sure the garlic doesn't burn.
3.) Turn the heat up to high, add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil. Gradually add the cornmeal while continually whisking. Once you have added all of the cornmeal, cover the pot and place it in the oven. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent lumps. 
4.) About 10 minutes before the polenta is done, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms, and cook until they begin to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.
5.) Once the polenta mixture is creamy, remove from the oven and add the butter, salt, pepper, and dried parsley. Once they are incorporated, gradually add the Parmesan.
6.) Spoon the polenta into four bowls and top with an equal amount of mushrooms. Sprinkle a little extra Parmesan over each bowl (optional). 

This ended up being a really satisfying dinner that didn't take forever to prepare. I loved how the original recipe called for finishing the polenta in the oven, too - I had never cooked it this way before, but it turned out great, and very creamy.

Do you mostly barbecue this time of year, too? If so, what's your favorite thing to cook out on the grill?


  1. I love polenta. We don't have a grill yet, but I have been using my indoor grill on hot days because I don't feel like turning on the oven.

  2. Mmmm polenta. I rarely make polenta at home but I do like it!

  3. I LOVE polenta. I love that you can pair it with so many things, and that it can be so comforting, yet with some veggies, a little healthy too.

  4. love a good creamy polenta, especially when topped with mushrooms :) grilling makes dinner prep so easy... definitely firing ours up a lot lately!