Polenta with Mushrooms, Tomatoes & Basil…
Good evening my lovely followers! I know you probably all think I’m a little crazy for having polenta smack dab in the middle of summer, but tonight was surprisingly a cool summer evening and my body was craving something dense and filling. The mixture of fresh mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and basil did however make it sparkle with a bit of summer flare.
For those of you who may not know what polenta is, get ready because it is about to become your new best friend. This is, like almost all of my recipes, gluten free, nutritious and simple dish to make. Polenta, made of ground yellow corn, is a staple in northern Italian dishes and is great because it has a very neutral flavor so it easily adapts to anything you pair it with, either sweet or savory. You will also be happy to hear that polenta is a complex carbohydrate, which means that it rests low in the glycemic index and takes our bodies longer to digest. For every 100 grams of dried polenta there are approximately 8 grams of protein (cha-ching!) a great source for us herbivores! Vitamins and minerals? You better believe it! Polenta is chock full of them! Each serving offers up vitamins A & C, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. I told you to be prepared…
1/2 cup dry polenta
1-1/2 cups of water
8oz mushrooms (chose your favorite), sliced thin
5-8 cherry tomatoes, sliced thin
handful of basil, chopped
chili flakes (optional, to taste)
apple cider vinegar, to taste
In a saute pan over medium-low heat saute mushrooms with a pinch of sea salt for approximately 5 minutes, until soft. Add a pinch of chili flakes and a dash of apple cider vinegar.
Add in your sliced tomatoes and turn off the heat. Add basil and toss again.
Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, bring 1-1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add the polenta in a thin, steady stream, stirring constantly. If you add it too quickly, the polenta becomes lumpy.
Cook slowly, stirring constantly, over very low heat. The hot polenta may spatter as it cooks, so use a long-handled wooden spoon.
Spoon a little polenta onto a plate. Set aside to cool slightly. Rub between your fingers - if the grains feel soft, the polenta is ready. Season with sea salt to taste
Spoon polenta in a bowl and top with sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes and basil. As difficult as it may be, try your hardest not to shovel it all in within minutes, remember to chew your food to get all your nutrients. :)