oven polenta with roasted mushrooms and thyme

Call it cheating—we call this no-stir polenta 30 minutes you don’t need to spend standing at the stove. And if you’re feeling indulgent, top with a little heavy cream mixed with a finely grated small garlic clove.

from Bon Appétit.

ingredients

  • 1½ pounds mixed mushrooms (such as crimini, shiitake, oyster, and/or maitake), torn into 1″ pieces
  • 4 sprigs thyme, plus leaves for serving
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 4 ounces Parmesan, finely grated, plus more for serving
  • 1 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Flaky sea salt

method

  1. Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 325°. Combine mushrooms, thyme sprigs, and garlic on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season generously with kosher salt and pepper; drizzle with oil. Toss to coat mushrooms, then spread out in an even layer. (Make sure not to crowd the mushrooms on the baking sheet; otherwise, they’ll steam instead of getting crispy.) Transfer to upper rack in oven and let mushrooms roast while you prepare polenta.
  2. Bring 4½ cups water to a simmer in a large ovenproof saucepan over medium-high heat. Add butter and a generous pinch of kosher salt and whisk to melt butter. Gradually add polenta, whisking constantly. (Gradually incorporating the polenta into the water is key to preventing clumps.) Return mixture to a boil, immediately cover pot, and transfer to lower rack in oven. Bake polenta, shaking baking sheet with mushrooms occasionally, until polenta is tender, 25–30 minutes.
  3. Remove polenta from oven. Crank up oven temperature as high as it will go (but don’t broil). Continue to cook mushrooms until crisp around the edges, 5–10 minutes longer.
  4. Meanwhile, carefully uncover polenta and whisk vigorously, scraping bottom of pan, until polenta is smooth and thick. Gradually add 4 oz. Parmesan, whisking constantly until melted and incorporated; taste and season with more kosher salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm over low heat while mushrooms finish roasting.
  5. Remove mushrooms from oven; drizzle with vinegar. Toss to coat; let cool slightly.
  6. Divide polenta among bowls and top with mushrooms, thyme leaves, sea salt, and more Parmesan.

serves 4.

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