Here is what I love about this recipe. In combination, the grilled polenta, balsamic mushrooms and arugula make a delightful meal. Individually, the methods for preparing the polenta and mushrooms can be used over and over again in a variety of ways. For instance, the balsamic mushrooms are nice sliced over grilled steak. Serve the grilled polenta on its own as a side dish for any grilled vegetables or meats. Make the polenta ahead of time so it has time to chill before grilling. Enjoy!
GRILLED POLENTA AND BALSAMIC MUSHROOMS
Yield: serves 4
Ingredients for polenta:
- 3 cups water
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups quick cooking polenta, medium or coarse-grain
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- olive oil for grilling
Prepare polenta for grilling:
- In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the water and salt just to a boil. Reduce the heat, slowly whisk in the polenta and season with pepper. Continue to whisk until the mixture starts to tighten up, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the butter and Parmesan cheese. Continue to stir until cheese and butter melt. Polenta should be very thick. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Oil a10-inch springform pan. Pour in the hot polenta and use a rubber spatula to smooth the polenta into an even layer. Set aside to cool and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours (up to 1 day) to set.
Ingredients for mushrooms/remainder:
- 6 portobello mushrooms, stems removed, halved if very large
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups arugula (2 ounces)
- 8 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved (use a vegetable peeler)
- Toss mushrooms with garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, vinegar, and 1/4 cup oil in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature, tossing occasionally, for about 1 hour.
- Transfer mushrooms to a plate. Pour marinade into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer 1 minute. Add stock. Raise heat and bring back to a boil. Simmer on low for about 10 minutes, or long enough to reduce it by half. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil and remove from heat.
- Preheat a well-oiled grill to medium heat. Remove polenta from the pan and cut it into 8 pieces (like a pie). Lightly brush each side of the polenta with oil. Cook the polenta, flipping it once, about 6 minutes per side. Don’t move it before 6 minutes – it needs time to set so it won’t stick to the grill. Set aside.
- Place mushrooms on the grill and cook, turning frequently to avoid burning, for about 10 minutes total.
- Place arugula on a platter. Arrange polenta and portobellos on top. Drizzle about half the sauce over the mushrooms. Top with shaved cheese. Serve immediately with any extra sauce on the side.
Sources: Bon Appetit and www.foodnetwork.com