Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Creamy polenta with wild mushrooms, spinach and tomatoes

I loved this recipe which is straight out of Light and Healthy 2010 by America's Test Kitchen. It was earthy, warm, comforting. The one thing I didn't like was how juicy the dish became. Some juice is necessary but this was a lot, and I think it may have to do with the first part of cooking the mushrooms covered. When I make this again, I will cook the mushrooms on high heat w/out salt until they are softened and browned and then add salt at the end.

Serves 4

For the topping:
2 pounds cremini mushrooms, halved if small, quartered if large
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, minced after being reconstituted
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces baby spinahc
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
Black pepper

For the polenta:
4 cups water
1 cup coarsely ground cornmeal
1/2 cup Parmesan, divided
1 T unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
black pepper

For the topping, compile cremini mushrooms, onion, oil, porcini mushrooms, rosemary and 1/4 tsp salt in a large Dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stir occassionally, until the vegetables are softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high and continue to cook, stirring occassionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes.

Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add spinach, one handful at a time, and cook until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook until just softened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside off the heat to keep warm.

Meanwhile, bring water and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Slowly add cornmeal, whisking constantly in a circular motion to prevent clumping.

Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring often and vigorously, making sure to scrape the corners of the pot, until all the polenta becomes soft and smooth, 10 to 15 minutes. Off the heat, vigorously stir in half the cheese and all the butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the polenta among 4 bowls. Divide vegetable mixture evenly among bowls, arranging it on top of the polenta. Sprinkle each portion with remaining cheese and serve.


The Cilantropist said...

Mmmm, I LOVE creamy polenta. This sounds awesome!

Thanks for checking out my blog, so many of your philosophies about food seem really similar to mine! :)

Jeannie said...

hi Nirmala...ok thanks for satisfying my curiosity...the reason I asked is because you mentioned garam masala and the word garam is used in Malaysia meaning salt. Cheers!

Ms. WhitePlates said...

I just discovered polenta, isn't it great? I like stirring in some finely chopped chives, it adds a great bit of flavour and texture.

Simply Life said...

This looks GREAT! Also, thank you for the suggestions for the paratha! Since it was my first time making it and I'm not too familiar with this, I REALLY appreciate your suggestions!!!

Morgan-- said...

I love polenta! THis looks delicious!

Megan D said...

This recipe looks SO wonderful! I love polenta. And to answer your question about Larabars, they are a bit high in fat from nuts but they have so few ingredients (usually just dates, nuts, and some cinnamon or something) so they are really good for you! You must try them!

Bridgett said...

Oh wow, this dish sounds perfect. The mushrooms would be my favorite part but the polenta would be divine as well.

Anonymous said...

Creamy polenta sounds super delicious with all these wonderful veggies!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I just love polenta! This looks like a wonderful, light dinner that I need to try very soon.