It’s the middle of summer and I’m making a very comforting winter-like meal. Sometimes I just need a break from the salads and lean meals and dive into a bowl of creamy, savory comfort food. Polenta goes so well with almost any protein and vegetable. It’s a perfect blank canvas for anything you want to put in it. I just so happened to have mushrooms and cauliflower in my pantry. So just be creative with whatever you have in stock. I eventually put a poached egg on top after I took this picture just because I wanted more creamy yolky goodness.
- 2 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1 cup of corn grits (fine cornmeal or quick cooking-polenta)
- 2 tablespoon of butter, divided
- 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese (any cheese you like, pecorino romano, goat, asiago, manchego, cheddar…)
- salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp of olive oil, divided
- 1 lb of mushrooms (whichever you like)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- thyme leaves from 3 sprigs
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest (optional if you have a lemon)
- cauliflower florets from 1/2 head of cauliflower
Bring vegetable broth and milk to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Slowly incorporate the grits in a slow stream and lower the heat to just about simmering. Constantly stir until liquid is absorbed and the polenta is thick and soft, 15 mins. Remove from heat and stir in butter, cheese and season with salt and pepper.
While the polenta is cooking, heat a large skillet with olive oil and butter. Add the mushrooms and cook over moderately high heat, without stirring, until browned on the bottom, about 3 mins. Continue to cook until the mushrooms are browned and tender, about 6 mins. Add the garlic and cook about 1 min. Stir in thyme, lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Set aside in a bowl.
Wipe the skillet down with a paper towel, and return to heat. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and saute the cauliflower, 3 mins. Add the garlic and cook about 1 min. Pour 1/4 cup of vegetable broth into pan and continue to cook the cauliflower until they’re al dente. Season with salt and pepper.
Plate the creamy polenta with mushrooms and cauliflower. Sprinkle with more cheese if desired. I topped this dish with a poached egg (drools!).