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Crispy tender polenta make a perfect platform for umami-rich medley of mixed sautéed mushrooms, seasoned with garlic & thyme. Great snacks & appetizers. 


Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC


Polenta Crostini con Funghi

Polenta's rich corn flavor & crispy outside-creamy inside textures pairs beautifully with a woodsy medley of sauteed mushrooms for a delicious canape with multiple health benefits.


Serves 4-6, Prep Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour


2 cups polenta (Bob's Mills for a course texture)

6 cups water or veggie broth

8-9 cups mixed mushrooms, chopped crudely & irregularly to add texture & interest

½ cup dried porcini, ground to powder in a spice mill OR reconstituted in warm water

6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme or 2-3 tsp dried thyme leaves

½ – 1 cup mushroom or veggie broth

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium red onion, medium dice (about 1 ½ cups)

No sodium veggie broth, dry vermouth or dry white wine, for deglazing

Freshly ground black pepper & sea or kosher salt, to taste

4 good quality canned peeled tomatoes, sliced in strips

Garnish with fresh thyme leaves or minced Italian parsley



Polenta Crostini:

Heat water to boiling. Sprinkle in polenta, stirring constantly. Reduce heat & continue to stir until thickened & sufficiently dense to hold its shape (approximately 10 minutes for Bob's Mill's), pour it on a wooden cutting board & allow to cool completely to solidify. Square off the edges & cut slices ¼” thick.


On a quality non-stick pan (avoid PFAs in teflon & cheaper cookware) on medium-low heat (under 500 degrees F), toast polenta slices until they are crispy. Flip to crisp up the underside.


Mushroom Saute:

Either grind the dried porcini to a powder OR reconstitute dried slices by pouring hot water to cover & allow to soften.


Heat stainless skillet on medium-high. After 3-4 minutes add onions, stirring, with pinch of salt to help them release moisture, lower flame to medium & saute until they soften & carmelize.

Deglaze with a VERY small amount of broth, vermouth or wine.

Add garlic & thyme, saute for a minute.

Add mushrooms, stirring & saute on medium-low until they release their water & soften. Adjust salt & pepper to taste. Add the porcini powder a little at a time, tasting as you go (it's potent!) until you achieve a rich, umami mushroomy taste & fragrance. Gently add tomato strips. Taste to adjust salt & pepper.



Top warm toasted crostini with heated mushrooms. Garnish with thyme leaves or freshly chopped Italian parsley. Serve immediately.


Buon appetito!

Polenta Crostini con Funghi