Polenta with Mushrooms and Gravy

by Estee Raviv
Two patties of polenta with a layer of cooked mushrooms in between and drenched in pale gravy with dill pieces and pepper on a white plate with a yellow napkin on the side.

Polenta is a dish that is popular in Italy and Romania. It is made out of corn grits, so it is naturally gluten-free. I grew up eating it since my mom is Romanian and she used to make it for us all the time. The mushrooms and gravy is inspired by a popular “wedding dish” from the ’70s and ’80s in Israel. I thought this would be perfect for Thanksgiving. This dish is the ultimate comfort food!


Ingredients

Mushroom Filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced (or you can use garlic confit)
Mini Bella mushrooms or mushrooms of your choice, chopped 24 oz / 680 g
Salt
Pepper

Gravy:
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons gluten-free oat flour or regular flour
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tablespoon vegetable base
Pinch of pepper
Pinch of salt if needed
Substitution: you can use vegetable broth instead of the water and vegetable base.

Polenta:
4 cups of water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup polenta
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil


Instructions

Mushroom Filling:
Take a wide pan and add olive oil, onion, salt, and pepper. Sauté on medium heat for a couple of minutes, and then add garlic. Sauté for another minute and add the mushrooms. Sauté until all the liquids have evaporated. Set aside.

Gravy:
Take a wide stainless steel pan and add olive oil and flour. Use a whisk to mix and cook the flour. You want bubbles to form. In a glass measuring cup, mix the water with the vegetable base to create a vegetable broth. Cook the flour/olive oil for a minute and then add the vegetable broth. Mix with a whisk until it thickens. Add pepper and salt if needed. Set aside.

Polenta:
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add salt, and polenta, and whisk constantly until it thickens. It will take a couple of minutes. Then add nutritional yeast and olive oil, keep whisking and turn the heat off. Set aside.

Assemble the dish:

Take 10 ramekins or individual glass dishes.

While the polenta is still hot, pour about a tablespoon and a half into the ramekins. Then, on top of that, pour about a tablespoon and a half of the mushroom filling, and lastly, another tablespoon and a half of the polenta. Each layer should take up approximately a third of the ramekin until it is filled to the top.

Let it cool down and set. The polenta will harden.

Serving suggestion:

Using a knife, release the sides of each ramekin. Turn the ramekin upside down onto a dinner plate to release the polenta onto the dish. (See the pictures below for a demonstration of how to remove the polenta from the ramekin). Now you have a nice round polenta on the plate. Take the gravy and pour some over the polenta. Sprinkle some greens on top and serve warm.


Notes

Tip: For easiest assembly, first prepare the mushroom filling, then the gravy, and lastly the polenta. Additionally, you can prepare the gravy and the mushroom filling the day before, so you don’t need to prepare everything in one day.

This recipe makes 10 appetizers size servings or 5 main size servings.

For more of Estee’s recipes, go to https://www.esteeskitchen.com/.

To follow Estee on social media:
https://www.facebook.com/FromEsteesKitchen/; https://www.instagram.com/fromesteeskitchen/


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