An Herbal Feast: Polenta con Funghi e Formagio

Throw the ultimate holiday party this season—it’s easier than you think.

| December/January 2009

  • Mark Baltzley Photography

Serves 4 to 6

It would be hard to imagine a better comfort food than polenta. The Gorgonzola and Mushroom Sauce elevates this dish to sheer luxury. The key to cooking polenta is to keep stirring.

• 4 cups chicken stock
• 1 cup stone-ground instant Italian cornmeal
• 2 tablespoons butter
• ½ pound fontina cheese, grated
• ½ cup heavy cream
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• Olive oil, for frying

1. Bring chicken stock to a boil in a 3-quart pot.

2. Add cornmeal in a very thin stream, stirring constantly, and cook 5 to 6 minutes.

3. Whisk in butter, cheese and cream. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Using your hands, roll polenta into small balls. Flatten slightly and fry in olive oil until browned and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Serve topped with Gorgonzola and Mushroom sauce.

Gorgonzola and Mushroom Sauce:

• 8 mushrooms, thinly sliced
• 1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 2 ounces Marsala wine
• 1 pint heavy whipping cream
• ½ cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
• 1 to 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1. In a medium skillet, sauté mushrooms and rosemary in butter. Reduce with Marsala wine.

2. Add cream and whisk in Gorgonzola.

3. Serve over polenta, topped with fresh rosemary sprigs.

Allison Martin is associate editor of The Herb Companion. She enjoyed tasting her way through this story. 

For the main article, An Herbal Feast for the Holiday Season, click here.

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