Something is happening over here. I’m not sure what it means, but lately I’ve been really into simple meals. Meals you can throw together in less than an hour. Meals you can enjoy after a long day at work. Meals that don’t require a stand mixer or food processor or immersion blender. People ask me all the time if I have any easier recipes. I think I’m finally catching on.
This dish was inspired by a meal I had with Lee a few weeks ago. It involved a mushroom ragout and polenta, kale and a poached egg. I enjoyed it so much that I cleaned my plate and haven’t stopped thinking about it.
I tried one other recipe before finding this one for oven-roasted mushrooms. The mushrooms cook quickly at a high temperature and only need one or two stirs while they roast away. They are totally delicious and perfect on their own but this ultra creamy polenta really is an ideal accompaniment. You could stop there, but if you want something a little more substantial, a poached egg and a little bit of sauteed kale will definitely round things out for you. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
roasted wild mushrooms with creamy polenta
for the mushrooms:
fresh cracked black pepper
1 pound wild mushrooms, stems trimmed (I used a combination of oyster, sliced shiitake, yellow foot, and hedgehog mushrooms)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a large roasting pan, combine all of the mushrooms. Add the garlic, shallots, and thyme. Drizzle evenly with the olive oil and sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Spread the mushrooms in a single layer as evenly as possible to promote even cooking.
Roast, stirring occasionally, until the edges of the mushrooms are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving bowl.
Taste the mushrooms and season as needed with salt and pepper. the mushrooms with the remaining salt and pepper mixture, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the parsley.
for the polenta:
2 cups whole milk
2 cups water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup instant polenta (about 7 ounces)
1/4 – 1/2 cup heavy cream**
1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Salt and freshly ground pepper
**for a lighter, slightly less creamy polenta, add only 1/4 cup heavy cream
In a large saucepan, combine the milk, water/stock, salt, and butter and bring to a boil. Whisk in the polenta and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until thick, about 8 minutes. If your polenta seems too thick, add 1/4 cup water and continue to stir until you’ve reached the desired consistency. Remove from the heat and stir in the heavy cream, mascarpone, and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon the polenta onto plates, top with roasted mushrooms and sprinkle with additional Parmesan and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.