New England Wild Edibles had HUGE shiitake mushrooms for sale at the farmers market last weekend, meaty and delicious. Their flavor shines through here.
I often like to substitute quinoa for some of the cornmeal when I make polenta, but this is totally optional.
3 cups water
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1/2 cup polenta cornmeal
1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 - 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 large red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
3-4 oz shredded mozzarella
In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt, and whisk in the polenta meal and quinoa. Lower the heat to a simmer and continue to stir with a spoon. Be careful, as the cooking polenta is viscous and can bubble up and burn you. Cooking time will vary with the type of polenta you are using. The kind I get at Green Fields Market, in the bulk section, thickens up very quickly, but the addition of quinoa slows it down. You want it to be pretty stiff for this application. When the polenta is cooked, remove from heat, cover, and set aside for now.
Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet. Add the shiitakes, onions, and garlic and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and preheat the broiler.
Oil a 10-inch oven-proof skillet or a 7x11-inch baking dish. Spread the cooked polenta in the bottom. Top with the sauce, then the mushroom mixture. Top with mozzarella.
Broil the polenta for about 4 minutes, until the cheese begins to brown. Serve hot.
Serves about 4.