Sign up for emails on super healthy, delicious plant-based recipes, cooking tips, events, announcements & the latest on plant-based nutritional research.

Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC

www.cathyskitchenprescription.com

 

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

 

Ingredients

 

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

 

GarnishSprinkling 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).

 

Directions

 

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.

 

Buon appetito!

Polenta Crostini con Funghi