The most common side dishes I serve at home are rice, pasta, bread and potatoes. I think that’s probably the case in most homes. Today, I made something different for a change. I happened to reorganize my pantry early this morning and found lots of containers of corn meal, which I usually use to make corn bread, but also is the main ingredient in polenta. Polenta can serve as an excellent starch, and lends the opportunity to layer on many different flavors. In this particular version, I added morel and baby Bella mushrooms, which give an earthy flavor to the polenta, and gorgonzola for creaminess and a little zing.
I grilled a few smoked chicken and apple sausages and Tofurky® Italian sausages to complete the meal. You could slice them and add them directly to the polenta as well. Either way, this meal was absolutely delicious!
1. Info for Mushroom and Gorgonzola Polenta Recipe
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 50 mins
- Servings: 6
- Calories: 360 kcal
2. Ingredients for Mushroom and Gorgonzola Polenta Recipe
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ½ carrot, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 4 ounces baby Bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh morel mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1½ cups yellow corn meal (polenta)
- 1½ cups heavy cream, warm
- 1½ cups milk, warm
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese, freshly crumbled
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
- ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Cooking the onions and mushrooms: Cut the onion in half. Thinly slice one half and finely chop the rest. In a non-stick deep saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the sliced onions. Cook until nicely golden and tender (it may take up to 5 minutes). Add the garlic. Cook for a minute, then add the mushrooms. Sauté until softened. Transfer to a plate, leaving as much oil as possible in the saucepan. Let cool. Reserve a few mushroom slices and onions and coarsely chop the rest. Set aside.
- In a food processor, combine the carrot, celery and half onion. Pulse until very finely chopped.
- In the same saucepan, add 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, then add the chopped carrot, celery and onion mixture. After bringing the liquid back to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 15 minutes. Using a strainer, remove and discard as much of the solids as possible, leaving the equivalent of 1-2 tablespoons in the saucepan.
- Bring the liquid back to a boil, then immediately whisk in the corn meal, stirring constantly for about 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup milk, then lower the heat. Let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking the liquid, periodically adding ½ to 1 cup of warm cream as soon as the liquid has been absorbed. If the polenta is too thick, add more milk (I add ½ cup warm milk toward the end).
- Assembly time: When the polenta is the right consistency, add gorgonzola cheese. Stir well and finally add the chopped mushrooms and onions and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Mix until well combined. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
- Garnish with the reserved mushrooms and onions.
- Bon appétit!