Thursday, August 14, 2008

Polenta with two types of mushrooms

David created this some time ago and I forgot to post the recipe which was apparently inspired by something he saw on display at Ottolenghi’s.

  1. Polenta
  2. Cheddar Cheese
  3. Shittake
  4. Portobello
  5. Parmesan
  6. Garlic
  7. Red Onion
  8. Minced Rosemary
  9. Fresh Thyme
  10. Parsley
  11. Chives
  12. 3-4 tblsp of chicken broth (i.e. from organic chicken bouillon cube-- don't use Knorr/other brands with MSG).


  1. Make a thickish polenta and at last moment add cheddar, chives, salt and pepper to taste;
  2. Saute onions, rosemary, thyme in olive oil when onions are just golden, add mushrooms and put on high heat (get the mushrooms to sweat as quickly as possible, hence, add oil if necessary to get the cooking process going);
  3. Add chicken broth to taste, let reduce quickly-the aim is to have a relatively fresh stew of mushrooms, rather than slower-cooked more intense option;
  4. Add knob of butter, add parsley, chives, salt and pepper to taste;
  5. When polenta is done, make sure it is thick so that you can poor onto a wooden cutting board. Spread polenta relatively evenly across the cutting board;
  6. Grate more cheddar cheese over the surface of the polenta—kind of a sprinkling over the surface put mushrooms on top of polenta, grate parmesan over mushrooms, and drizzle olive oil over the top;
  7. The polenta should be thick enough to serve up in slices. A perfect
  8. snack, or light dinner with a green salad/lemony vinaigrette.

Beat Root & Ricotta Salad;

I probably stole this recipe somewhere originally but I don’t remember where anymore and it is all mine now.


  1. Beat root (about ½ medium sized one per person);
  2. 50 gr. Rocket per person;
  3. 50 gr. Ricotta per person (I use soft fresh ricotta but older saltier cheese also works and gives the dish a more mature taste);
  4. Best quality olive oil;
  5. Best quality Balsamic vinegar;
  6. Juice of ¼ lemon per 2 people;
  7. Teaspoon of best quality honey;
  8. Roasted pine nuts;
  9. Salt & pepper (use good quality sea salt as you will be crunching the salt crystals) to taste.


  1. Cover beat root in salted cold water. Bring to boil and let simmer until beat root is done about 45 min. You can tell the beet root is done when a knife slides easily into it;
  2. Peel the cooked beet root after cooling it in cold water (you should be able to remove the skin with your hands) and cut into medium slices. Put the slices into a bowl with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar (about 1 tbsp per medium beet root), salt and pepper. Toss and leave to marinate for about 1 hour;
  3. Make a lemon vinaigrette with the lemon and olive oil (basically emulsify the olive oil by whisking it into the lemon juice) and toss with the rocket. Add salt and pepper to taste;
  4. Assemble the salad by arranging slices of beet root on top of a bed of rocket, add a dollop of ricotta and a small drop of honey. Drop a few of the pine nuts on top and serve.