Savoury umami mushroom flavour!
Mushrooms with Polenta, Tarragon and Pecorino
Think soft polenta cooked with vegetable broth and fragranced with fresh tarragon, and mushrooms gently sautéed with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and spinach.
I love this dish and could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
It’s gluten free, since the polenta is made from corn.
Whats more mushrooms contain many B vitamins, and along with the fennel, provide prebiotic goodness to your gut microbiota.
1 large fennel
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup polenta meal (cornmeal)
2 cups broth (plus a bit more if needed)
3 large handfuls mixed mushrooms, chop up any large mushrooms
2 handfuls spinach leaves or chopped rainbow chard or silverbeet leaves
1 Tbs tarragon leaves
1 heaped Tbs grated Pecorino cheese
How To Make:
Cut the base and stalks off your fennel. Peel off the first outer woody layer, then cut the fennel into thin wedges about 2cm thick at the widest part.
Toss the fennel with 1 tablespoon oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Then pop into a large frypan and sauté until the fennel begins to soften and the edges are crisping up. Remove onto a plate to keep warm.
Pop the broth into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and pour in the polenta meal. Stir constantly to mix the polenta and cook it. Take care as the polenta can spit up, so keep stirring. You will need enough broth liquid so the polenta remains loose as it cooks, rather than thick. After about 10 minutes of cooking, check the polenta is cooked by taking a small teaspoon’s worth out, cool it a little and eat. If the polenta is still crunchy it is not cooked enough yet. See polenta note below.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the mushrooms into the large frypan. Stir on medium heat until the mushrooms just begin to cook, then stir through the spinach leaves to wilt and the fennel to re-warm. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Just before you serve the polenta onto 2 plates, stir through the tarragon leaves, then spread the polenta over the base of the plates. Top with the mushrooms, spinach and fennel.
Whilst steaming hot, finely grate over the pecorino cheese so it melts into the dish, heaven!
Polenta – Basically you can’t over cook the polenta, as long as you keep adding broth so it doesn’t get too thick, it can cook on a low heat for longer if you wish without stirring. The polenta consistency you’re aiming for is pourable rather than thick and stiff.