The weather has officially cooled down and now we’re well into the fall season, comfort foods are slowly creeping into my kitchen, and a meal that I love making in this cooler weather is, creamy warm polenta topped with pretty much anything.
I’ve posted polenta several times on this blog, but this time I’m serving it on a wooden board, yes a board, it’s casual, rustic, communal and a fun way to eat it.
Cook up your polenta, make it nice and creamy, then immediately pour it onto a wooden board, spread it around then top it with almost anything you can imagine. It’s the perfect base for sauteed greens, a nice meaty red sauce, roasted veggies, a wild mushroom ragu, even poached eggs, the list is endless!
You can use any size wooden cutting board that you might have, or buy a designated polenta board that is either round or a very long rectangle, both can be placed in the center of a table for a big polenta party, depending on the size you can either double or even triple the recipe, or you can use a pizza peel like I did, which is a good size for a smaller amount.
I decided to top mine with oyster, crimini and beech mushrooms, I love the different variety of mushrooms I’m seeing all over.
And of course butternut squash because they’re a match made in heaven!
I roast both of the veggies ahead of the time and with the mushrooms I like to add some garlic and thyme.
Place everything on top, put your board in the middle of the table, grab a spoon or a fork and dig in!
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- 1 small butternut squash, cut into a small dice, then tossed in olive oil and pre-roasted on a sheet pan at 400 degrees until lightly golden
- assorted mushrooms of your choice, at least 1½ lbs. pre-roasted at 400 degrees with 3 chopped garlic cloves and a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 cup of quick cooking polenta
- 4 cups of liquid, I like to use 2 cups milk and 2 cups broth
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 handfuls of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- a little butter and olive oil
- Put the liquid and salt into a heavy pot, get it to boiling then reduce heat to a low simmer and whisk in the polenta, then get a wooden spoon and get stirring until nice and creamy.
- Take it off the stove add in a tablespoon of butter, a drizzle of olive oil and the cheese, stirring until incorporated.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Quickly spread onto your wooden board, then top with all your veggies.
- Drizzle more olive oil on top, and a little more grated cheese, serve immediately