Mushroom, Herb and Applewood Polenta

An adaption of an old Yottam Ottolenghi recipe, this polenta dish is deliciously decadent.
By Jess Lacey

Mushroom, Herb and Applewood Polenta

This is an adaptation of an old Yottam Ottolenghi recipe. I have never been a huge fan of polenta, though this was more on a theoretical than practical basis as I couldn’t really remember what it tasted like. It tends to be served in Venice with quite a lot of dishes, and usually (in my memory at least) seemed like watery gloop. I will concede that it has probably been about 12 years since I last tried and my tastes have changed quite a bit since then. So I was pleasantly surprised when I was served this at a fantastic dinner party recently, and discovered polenta, like most things, is pretty nice when mixed with an unhealthy quantity of cheese and butter. So I have tried this recipe in both its original incarnation, and my revised version.

My revision was based largely on the fact that I made the rookie mistake of going food shopping when spectacularly hungry, and ended up buying Applewood cheese on a whim. This is an English smoked cheddar, and the smoky flavour was a lovely complement to the mushrooms (also a bit cheaper and easier than buying both tallegio and parmesan). I also omitted lemon thyme, but only because I don’t really like it, and used a lot of chopped parsley instead. Serves two as a light meal.

3.0 from 1 reviews
Mushroom, Herb and Applewood Polenta
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
Author:
Recipe Type: Entree
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 300g mixed mushrooms ( I used chestnut and shitake, some wild ones would be great though)
  • 1 tablespoon each: Chopped fresh parsley, tarragon and rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 150g Applewood Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 80g polenta
  • vegetable stock (quantity as per polenta requirements, usually about 200-300ml)
  • Truffle oil (optional)
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Clean the mushrooms and chop roughly.
  2. Heat some olive oil over medium in a frying pan, and add the mushrooms.
  3. Fry for 5-6 minutes until the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add the garlic, half the tarragon and parsley and fry for a further 2 minutes.
  5. Season and set aside.
  6. Boil the stock as per quantity required by polenta.
  7. Add the polenta.
  8. Lower the heat to a simmer and stir constantly for 3-5 minutes until cooked (it should still be slightly liquid but with a relatively thick consistency)
  9. Stir in the cheese and butter.
  10. Preheat the grill.
  11. Place the polenta on a heat proof gratin or casserole dish.
  12. Season and top with the rosemary.
  13. Grill for 2-3 minutes until slightly golden and bubbling on top.
  14. Add the mushrooms and grill for a further 1-2 minutes until heated through.
  15. Top with remaining herbs.

Jess Lacey

Jess Lacey is an Irish food blogger and soon to be lawyer. She has found a home in London, Dublin, Leiden, Melbourne and Aarhus. After a brief foray into the world of Michelin starred cooking, she decided to keep cooking and food as relationships based purely on passion rather than income. She travels frequently, and justifies this by writing about it. More of her musings and recipes are available on her blog, Canal Cook.

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