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Polenta doesn't require much introduction: It is creamy and delicious. The mushrooms and cheese lend it a certain savory heft and make it a wonderful appetizer. This recipe comes from October, 1995, issue of Gourmet magazine.
Makes 4 servings.
For polenta (yields about 3 cups):
• 4 cups water
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup cornmeal
For mushroom mixture:
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1/2 pound fresh porcini, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
• 1 garlic clove, chopped
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1/4 pound Gorgonzola cheese (about 3/4 cup), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
In a heavy saucepan bring water and salt to a boil and gradually whisk in cornmeal in a thin stream. Cook polenta at a simmer over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until very thick and pulls away from side of pan, about 40 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm. Stir polenta just before using. Polenta will keep warm, covered, about 20 minutes.
In a medium skillet, heat butter over moderate heat until foam subsides. Add the mushrooms, with salt to taste, stirring occasionally until brown. Add garlic, stirring 1 minute. Add water and simmer until mushrooms are tender and liquid reduces slightly, about 8 minutes. Stir in parsley and lemon juice and keep warm.
Stir 1/2 cup Gorgonzola into warm polenta until smooth. Divide polenta among 4 plates and spoon mushroom mixture on top. Tear remaining Gorgonzola into small pieces and sprinkle over each serving.
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