Grilled Polenta with Mushroom Ragout

Polenta, a dish rooted in the humble kitchens of Northern Italy, has journeyed through time to become a canvas for culinary artistry. The Grilled Polenta with Mushroom Ragout reimagines this traditional comfort food into a gourmet masterpiece. This recipe combines the creamy, comforting texture of polenta with the deep, umami flavors of a mushroom ragout, creating a symphony of tastes and textures. The grilling of polenta introduces a smoky nuance and a delightful contrast between the crispy exterior and the soft, warm interior. The mushroom ragout, enriched with a medley of aromatic herbs and a hint of wine, adds layers of complexity and sophistication. This dish is a celebration of rustic elegance, appealing to both the eyes and the palate.

Ingredients

Serving Size

  • Serves 4

Grocery Items Needed

  • 1 cup of Polenta (coarse cornmeal)
  • 4 cups of Water
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive oil
  • 2 cups of mixed Mushrooms (e.g., shiitake, cremini, and portobello), sliced
  • 1 small Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of dry Red Wine
  • 1 cup of Vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh Thyme leaves
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Preparation

  1. Start by bringing 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and gradually whisk in the polenta. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and the polenta is tender, about 20-25 minutes. Once cooked, spread the polenta into a greased baking dish, forming an even layer. Allow it to cool and set.
  2. Once the polenta is set, cut it into squares or rectangles. Brush each piece with olive oil and grill over medium heat until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  3. For the mushroom ragout, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, sautéing until softened and translucent. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until they are golden brown and have released their moisture.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to reduce by half, then add the vegetable broth and thyme. Let the ragout simmer until the liquid has slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. To serve, place the grilled polenta on a plate and spoon the mushroom ragout over the top. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Expert Tips

  • For a creamier polenta, you can stir in some grated Parmesan cheese or a tablespoon of butter just before spreading it into the baking dish to set.
  • Feel free to experiment with different types of mushrooms or add other vegetables to the ragout for extra flavor and texture.
  • If you prefer a non-alcoholic version, the red wine can be substituted with additional vegetable broth or a splash of balsamic vinegar for a touch of acidity.

Serving Suggestions

To elevate this dish further, consider serving it alongside a crisp, green salad dressed with a light vinaigrette and a glass of medium-bodied red wine, such as a Pinot Noir or a Merlot. The earthiness of the mushrooms pairs wonderfully with the fruitiness of these wines, creating a dining experience that is both balanced and harmonious.

Nutrition Facts per Serving

  • Calories: 280
  • Total Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 450mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 42g
  • Dietary Fiber: 5g
  • Sugars: 3g
  • Protein: 6g

**Allergens: May contain traces of gluten in polenta depending on cross-contamination risks during processing.


We encourage you to share this recipe with friends and family and to experiment with your variations to make it uniquely yours. Cooking is a journey of discovery and creativity, and we hope this recipe inspires you to explore new flavors and techniques in your culinary adventures. Enjoy the process and the delicious outcome!

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