Warm, creamy polenta pairs perfectly with an earthy blend of cremini and shiitake mushrooms. Alongside those mushrooms, shaved Parmesan cheese adds a double dose of umami to this vegetarian main. Because the polenta is the base of the dish, look for a high-quality, stone-ground variety. That being said, grits will work just as well—just be sure to stir in butter and salt, just like you would with the polenta. When you’re cooking the mushrooms, use the largest skillet you have, which will ensure that the veggies gets perfectly browned, and don’t steam. Fresh baby greens, added just before serving, make for a beautiful presentation.
6 cups water
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1½ cups polenta (not instant or quick cooking)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 (8-oz.) package sliced cremini mushrooms
1 (8-oz.) package sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
3 cups packed mixed baby greens
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved (about ½ cup)
How to Make It
Bring the water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan over high. Whisk in the polenta and cook, whisking constantly, 45 seconds. Scrape the bottom and sides of the saucepan. Return to a boil; cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until tender, 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the butter until melted. Set aside.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add the mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the shallot and the remaining salt; cook 2 minutes.
Toss the greens with the oil and lemon juice. Top the polenta with the mushroom mixture, greens, and Parmesan.
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