Wild Mushroom Polenta

What on earth is Polenta?

Polenta is coarsely or finely ground yellow or white cornmeal boiled with water or stock into a porridge and eaten directly or baked, fried or grilled before serving. -Wikipedia

That's what Wiki says about Polenta. Let me tell you something about Polenta though. Its strange.
S.T.R.A.N.G.E. It smooth, but gritty at the same time...and then has this, almost jelly texture. At first, I was following the directions, and cooked the cornmeal by whisking it into boiling water and seasoning with salt. As soon as I tasted it, I was plagued with questions about where this odd food came from and who eats it. I added a bit of crushed red pepper, a touch of garlic powder, and minced onion and green pepper. I spooned it out onto a plate and turned around to toss the arugula and Thai Basil salad. When I came back to the Polenta I saw that it had, sort of, solidified. It held its shape on the plate. In light of this new development, I tossed some oil in a pan, heated the oil, and just quickly crisped up the Polenta "disc". It turned out to taste much better than I expected it to.


1 Cup Cornmeal
1 1/2 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Green Pepper
1/2 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbspn Olive Oil

Wild Mushroom Saute:
1 Cup Thinly Sliced Oyster Mushrooms
1 Cup Thinly Sliced Cremini Mushrooms
1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic

Arugula Salad:
1 1/2 Cup Arugala
1 Cup Thai Basil
1 Cup
1/3 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1/4 Cup Pine Nuts 

Cooking Instructions

To make the Wild Mushroom Saute:
Heat the Olive oil is a pan and add the onion, cooking until tender (2-3 minuets). Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until soft. Set aside the mixture and wipe pan clean.

Boil 1 1/2 cups salted water, then slowly whisk in cornmeal until smooth. Add onion, green pepper, crushed red pepper, and garlic powder, and cook 10-15 mins. Add water periodically to maintain smooth consistency.

Heat 1 Tbspn Olive oil in the pan, and fry the Polenta in about 3 inch wide "pancakes". Flipping, once golden brown.

In the same pan, toast the pine nuts stirring constantly until golden. Set aside.

Arugula Salad:
Toss the Arugula, Thai Basil, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Plate the polenta, top with the mushroom mixture, and finish with the arugula salad. Garnish with pine nuts and serve.


  1. Ha! Polenta is a bit weird! You've just reminded me I have some in teh cupboard that must be fast approaching it best before date - Thank you!
    Janie x

  2. Jane, This was my first time ever cooking with it! Whats your favorite recipe for the stuff?