Growing up in a Ukrainian family, I had no choice but to love mushrooms. My grandma is so passionate about mushrooms, I swear I would be kicked out of the clan if I didn’t like them! Of course, my granny also used to cook them with a heap of butter and a pint of whipping cream, turning them into a serious ‘sometimes food’. I still love mushrooms and find every excuse to cook with them, just with a little less cream (sorry granny).
I used to work at a restaurant in Vancouver called the Tomato Cafe where they served the most amazing mushroom ragu over polenta. I think this is as close as I’m going to get to replicating the recipe. I happened to make the recipe at lunch time, and had some beautiful artisan bread on the counter that I used to make a secondary version of this recipe and turned out the most delicious mushroom toast that I’ve ever tasted! Either way, this recipe will have you covered for Meatless Monday or really any day of the week.
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2/3 cup polenta
- 1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
- 3 Tbsp. 18% cream
- 1 tsp. cold butter
- salt & pepper to taste
- Bring chicken stock to a slow boil in a heavy pot.
- Slowly add the polenta, stirring while you add it with a wooden spoon or whisk to ensure that it doesn’t clump.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook for approximately 40 minutes, stirring occassionally. If the polenta gets too dry simply add 1/4 c. of extra chicken stock or water. Taste the polenta before taking it off of the heat to make sure that it is fully cooked.
- Remove it from the heat and stir in the cream, butter, parmesan and salt and pepper.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1/4 cup good quality white wine
- 5 cups (approximately 16 oz) sliced mixed mushrooms*
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves (plus 4 extra sprigs for garnish)
- 2 tsp. cold butter
- salt & pepper to taste
* Use whatever fresh mushrooms you like, a mix is perfect! I used portabella, cremini and white button mushrooms in mine.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant and transparent. Do not brown!
- Add the white wine, stir, and cook for approximately 2 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the thyme, butter and salt and pepper and stir.
- Serve the ragu over the polenta or on top of a piece of toasted nice bread spread with a tablespoon of goat cheese or cream cheese.