Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC
Polenta Crostini con Funghi
Polenta's rich corn flavor & smooth texture marries 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 Red Mill for a course texture) •
7 cups water or no-sodium veggie broth
1 medium red onion, medium dice (about 1½ cups)
Splash of dry white wine or vermouth or no-sodium broth or water to deglaze pan
3 large cloves garlic, minced
6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme or 2-3 tsp dried thyme leaves or handful fresh nepitella leaves
8-9 cups mixed mushrooms, chopped crudely and irregularly to add texture and interest
1-2 Tablespoons cup dried porcini, ground to powder in a spice mill
1½ cups no-sodium veggie or mushroom broth
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Aka (red) miso •• to taste (omit if sodium-free)
4 good quality canned peeled tomatoes, sliced in strips (optional)
2-3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
Garnish: Sprinkling of chopped Italian parsley or chives
• Different brands and grinds of polenta will require different amounts of water and cooking time. Test a small batch if you are unsure.
•• Miso is a good salt alternative that helps to lower blood pressure (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5313421/#:~:text=Miso%2C%20which%20is%20made%20from,%2C%20including%20salt%2Dsensitive%20hypertension).
Polenta: Heat water to boiling. Sprinkle in polenta, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and continue to stir until thickened and sufficiently dense to hold its shape (approximately 5 minutes for Bob's Red Mill), pour it into a square or rectangular pyrex baking dish, about 2 inches in depth. Allow to cool and solidify completely. Slide a knife along each side to loosen, reverse onto a cutting board. Cut slices ¼” thick. Alternatively, do as the Italians do and pour the polenta onto a wooden board, shaping it as best you can into a rectangle 1½” to 2” high.
Mushroom Saute: Grind the dried porcini to a powder with a coffee or spice grinder.
Heat stainless skillet on medium-high. After 3-4 minutes add onions, stir occasionally. Lower flame to medium and sauté until they begin to soften and carmelize. Deglaze pan with a VERY small amount of broth. Add garlic and thyme, sauté for a minute.
Add mushrooms and sauté on medium-low until they release their water and soften. Add a few tablespoons of porcini powder a little at a time, tasting as you go (it's potent!). Taste. Season with freshly ground pepper and miso, if using, until you achieve a rich, umami mushroomy taste and fragrance. Stir in the remaining broth. Sprinkle on nutritional yeast, stir, cook for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Gently add tomato strips.
Cool and using a mezzaluna or chef knife, chop sauté more finely.
Crostini: On a quality non-stick pan (avoid PFOAs in teflon in cheaper cookware) on medium-low heat (under 500°F), toast polenta slices until they are speckled. Flip to crisp up the underside.
Top warm toasted crostini with heated mushrooms. Garnish with parsley or chives. Serve immediately.
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