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Baked Polenta with Mushrooms
© Dana Gallagher

Baked Polenta with Mushrooms

  • SERVINGS: 4
  • VEGETARIAN

In the time it takes to heat up frozen lasagna, you can make a from-scratch layered polenta dish that's every bit as satisfying. It needs nothing more than a simple green salad as an accompaniment.

Plus: More Vegetable Recipes and Tips

  1. 4 1/2 cups water
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  3. 1 1/2 cups coarse or medium cornmeal
  4. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 3/4 teaspoon dried sage
  6. 7 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  7. 2 tablespoons butter
  8. 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, sliced thin
  9. 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  10. 6 ounces fontina, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
  1. Heat the oven to 350°. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Add the cornmeal in a slow stream, whisking. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the sage. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until very thick, about 20 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan.
  2. Meanwhile, butter an 8-by-12-inch baking dish. In a large frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add half the mushrooms, 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and sage, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are golden, about 5 minutes. Remove. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms, 1 tablespoon each butter and oil, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and sage, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Pour half the polenta into the baking dish and spread in an even layer. Top with half the mushrooms, followed by half of the fontina and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Repeat with the remaining polenta, mushrooms, fontina, and Parmesan. Bake until the cheese is bubbling, about 15 minutes.

Suggested Pairing

To contrast with the cheese here, look for a wine with both good acidity and well-delineated fruit flavors. The earthy red-berry flavors and refreshing tartness of a Bourgogne Rouge, the basic red wine of Burgundy, will be perfect.