Better Eating

Crispy Polenta Rounds with Sautéed Mushrooms

Polenta (Italian style grits) was originally known as peasant food.  How times change!  It is now found in most gourmet stores.  Whether creamy or grilled, polenta is very satisfying and so versatile.

I first had polenta with sautéed mushrooms in Orvieto, Italy.  Mouthwatering!


Yields 4 servings


  • 1 pound white mushrooms
  • 8 ounces portobello mushrooms
  • ½ white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, small dice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ounce unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces white wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Clean white mushrooms with a paper towel or brush to remove soil. Slice thinly and set aside.
  2. Clean portobellos with a damp paper towel or brush.  Remove stem and scrape the gills.  Slice thinly.
  3. Heat a sauté pan and add 1 tablespoon oil.  Once it’s hot, add the onions and cook at medium-low heat until translucent.
  4. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and let cook until the water reduces by half.
  6. Add wine and continue cooking at medium heat until most of the liquid is evaporated.
  7. Add butter and taste to adjust flavors.


  • 2 cups of water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces rapid cooking polenta
  • 3 ounces cream
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • parmesan cheese (to garnish)



  1. Place water and salt in a medium size pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Once it boils, remove from the heat, add polenta, and stir with a whisk until it becomes like a paste.
  3. Add cream and continue cooking at medium low.
  4. Once mixture is hot again, stir in the butter and continue whisking until creamy.
  5. Place in a square baking dish and spread into an even layer about ½ inch thick.
  6. Cover with plastic wrapping paper and let cool at room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  7. When ready to serve, cut in squares, rounds or wedges.
  8. Brush 1 tablespoon canola oil on a grill or grill pan and cook at medium-high heat until slightly crisp and charred, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  9. To serve, place 2-3 polenta slices per plate.  Shave parmesan cheese to garnish and serve with sautéed mushrooms on the side.

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