Why on earth aren't we eating more polenta? The Italian grinded maize isn't only wheat, gluten and dairy free, it's a very affordable and healthy comfort food. Super versatile, polenta can be eaten in a lot of different ways -- and because of its subtle taste, it goes well with any vegetable. Have it boiled as porridge, baked, grilled or fried... you could never get bored of it.
Here is a great recipe for the most restricted diets: a sumptuous crispy polenta square topped with warm mushrooms and mustard sauce. Make the polenta, cool it off, grill it and top it with sautéd mushrooms over a bed of raw spinach, and top it off with a simple mustard sauce for a pungent kick. So remember, next time you go out food shopping, don't forget to grab a package of polenta!
1. Gather the ingredients
- polenta (a cup per person)
- a couple of mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves
- a bunch of basil
- a bunch spring onions or Japanese negi
- Mustard vinaigrette:
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of lemon
- marine salt and pepper
2. Measure the polenta
Use 1 cup of polenta per 3 cups of water. Just like rice, use a cup of polenta per person.
3. Cook the polenta and place in a tray
Boil the water in a pan and sprinkle in the polenta stirring constantly over moderate heat for about 5 minutes, until thick and smooth. Remove polenta from the heat and spread in a tray.
4. Cool down the polenta
Place the tray in the fridge for 30 minutes to one hour until it cools down and settles.
5. Cut the polenta squares
Cut the polenta into squares (or into any other shape you’d like to give it) with a knife and leave aside.
6. Sauté the Mushrooms
Cut the mushrooms and sauté in a pan with a bit of oil. When ready, sprinkle your spring onions or Japanese negi previously cut with a pair of scissors.
Brush with oil and quickly grill the polenta until golden, it takes 5-10 minutes each side. Otherwise you could use the same (unwashed) pan where you cooked the mushrooms, using the remaining oil and juices.
8. Make the mustard sauce and serve
Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Plate the polenta topped with a few leaves of organic spinach and the sautéd mushrooms on top and dress with the mustard vinaigrette. Decorate with spring onions. Buon appetito!
Photos by Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitots