Let's Cook with Meg and Ted

Herb infused polenta with mushroom ragout

This is the superb wet polenta recipe from Philip Johnson's e'cco cookbook. He suggests serving it with shaved parmesan and a spoonful of pesto. I also like to serve it with a mushroom ragout, or with roasted vegetables. These amounts serve 4-6.

1 litremilk
1/2 onion
a few springsthyme
1 sprigrosemary
2bay leaves
4 clovesgarlic, peeled and halved
110 gpolenta
60 gparmesan, freshly grated
1 tablespoonbutter
salt and pepper

Place the milk, onion, herbs and garlic in a saucepan and slowly bring almost to the boil. Place the polenta in a large, heavy based saucepan, strain the infused milk onto the polenta, and whisk until blended.

Stir constantly over moderate heat until the mixture returns to the boil. Reduce heat to very low (I use a simmer mat) and cook, stirring frequently, for 20-30 minutes or until polenta is cooked and thickened. Fold in parmesan and butter and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately with the ragout.

Mushroom ragout
500 gmixed mushrooms, sliced
1/2 - 1 cupchopped fresh herbs - try rosemary, mint, thyme, chervil, sage etc
butter or oil
salt and pepper
verjuice, optional

Heat the oil or butter in a large frypan or wok, and add the mushrooms (and rosemary, if using). Stir until begining to brown, then add the remaining herbs. Continue to fry until mushrooms are wilting and browned, then season with salt and pepper and serve with the polenta. If you have verjuice, you can use it to deglaze the pan and then drizzle the juices over before serving.

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