Soft Polenta with Mixed Mushrooms and Gremolata


Chef Suzanne Goin adores the straightforward flavors in this vegetarian dish: the sautéed mushrooms and greens and the tangy mascarpone that melts into the creamy polenta.

Soft Polenta with Mixed Mushrooms and Gremolata
Photo: © Peggy Wong
Total Time:
1 hrs
6 to 8 first-course or 4 main-course servings


  • 1 1/2 cups medium-grain polenta

  • Kosher salt

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster and stemmed shiitake, thickly sliced or quartered

  • 4 ounces young greens, such as spinach, Russian kale or pea shoots, coarsely chopped (4 cups packed)

  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese


  1. In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Whisk in the polenta in a slow, steady stream. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until the polenta is thickened and tender, about 30 minutes. Whisk in 4 tablespoons of the butter and season with salt and pepper. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the polenta to prevent a film from forming; cover and keep warm.

  2. Meanwhile, on a work surface, mince the parsley and garlic with the lemon zest. Transfer the gremolata to a small bowl.

  3. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add half of the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden and tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in half of the chopped greens and cook for 1 minute; transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining butter, oil, mushrooms and chopped greens.

  4. Pour the polenta onto a large platter; if the polenta is very thick, reheat with 1/2 cup of water before serving. Spoon the mushrooms and greens on top and garnish with the mascarpone. Sprinkle the gremolata over the polenta and serve warm.

Make Ahead

The cooked polenta can be refrigerated overnight. Rewarm with a little water before serving.

Suggested Pairing

With this mushroomy dish, serve earthy Rhône reds and rich Rhône whites.

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