Vegan Polenta Served In 2 Ways!
Today I’ll present to you how to make this great North-Italian delicious dish in 2 ways.
Once understanding the basics of our Polenta, flavors and textures, you could actually let your imagination run wild and serve the Polenta – that is of course 100% Vegan, in a variety of ways and serving options.
Polenta really loves milk and cream so naturally, since my world is vegan, we shall use merely plant based milk and cream – which will surely enrich its flavors and texture.
It also goes very well with mushrooms as a topping, so I’ll demonstrate 2 different ways for making delicious mushroom toppings – After all we are going to serve it in 2 different ways.
Polenta Pattie Topped with Duxelles
The first way we will do the polenta is really classy, a small elegant polenta patty that is round shaped baked or pan fried, and we will serve it with Mushroom Duxelles structured on top. for my Mushroom Duxelles Recipe Click Here.
Creamy Polenta Topped with Sautéed Mushrooms
The second version is not less tasty and pretty and delicious, however completely different in it’s way of serving. The original version of a creamy Polenta, porridge like consistency served with sautéed mix of beautiful mushrooms and other crunchy surprises for more different textures.
Instructions for Basic Polenta
In order to create these one of 2 ways, we will have to cook the Polenta first with an infused plant milk of your choice. if you want you can skip the infusion part however I think it adds a good aroma to the Polenta. If you do choose to infuse, then you start with 600ml plant milk to 100gram cornmeal ratio and let simmer until at least 100ml evaporates. Without infusion just bring 500ml of plant milk to a simmer before adding the 100 grams Polenta (Cornmeal).
And so.. Let’s go to our happy place!
Polenta 2 Ways
- Baking Tray
- Small baking ring (round or any shape you want)
- Parchment paper
- Sauce pan
For the basic Polenta
- 100 Grams Corn mill
- 600 Mil Plant milk of your choice
- We will reduce a 100 milliliter while infusing herbs in before adding the cornmeal.
- 250 ml Full fat coconut cream or vegan heavy cream To "open" the cooled polenta before serving
To infuse the milk
- 10 Strings Saffron
- 3 Dried Bay leaves
- 2 Branches fresh thyme
- ½ tsp Sea Salt
- ½ tsp Black Pepper.
Sauteed mushrooms for the creamy polenta
- 3 tbsp Grape seed oil or olive oil
- 5-7 Oyster mushrooms Separated
- 8 Shimeji mushrooms Optional
- 2 King oyster mushrooms Cut to quarters
- 5 Champignon mushrooms Cut to quarters
- 2 Shallots Finely chopped
- 1 tsp Fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp White wine
- 1 tsp White wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp Fresh parsley Finely chopped
- ½ tsp Sea salt
- ½ tsp Black pepper Freshly ground is better
Serving Toppings and flavors for both versions (Optional)
- Reduced Balsamic vinegar
- Few Garlic Confit with oil or finely chopped garlic
- Vegan Parmesan cheese shaved
- 2 tbsp Toasted almonds
- Few Micro leaves for garnish
- Bring the plant milk to a simmer temperature in a sauce pan and infuse all the herbs in it for about 15 minutes until you get nice aroma and yellowish color in from the saffron, add salt and pepper.
- Once the milk is reduced by 100 ml approx. strain the milk from the herbs and pour back into the pan.
- Add the cornmeal to the milk, make sure the heat is medium high, and start stirring until all the liquid is fully absorbed in the cornmeal and you have a soft thick porridge-like consistency. check seasoning for salt and pepper.
- Pour the mixture on a baking tray with a parchment pepper to cool until serving.
1. Polenta Pattie
- To making the patties, after pouring the mixture on the tray with parchment paper, flatten the mixture using a spatula and form a square shape using the edges of parchment paper lift the edges up and fold to cover the mixture with the paper. Set aside and let it completely cool and stabilize.
- After it cools and get hard, choose a baking ring or round shaped cutter to make round patties. I chose a small round shape.
- With your finger gently press the pattie to pull it of the ring. Set a side and repeat this action for the next patties.
- Now you can choose to either bake it or pan fry it, if you like to bake the patties, place on a baking tray with baking paper and bake in a pre-heated oven at a 180°C/350°F for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- if you want to pan fry it you can heat some grape seed oil or vegetable oil on medium high heat and place each pattie gently in the pan, flip gently when golden brown on one side and when ready place in a plate with paper towel to absorb the oil.
- The next step is to create my rich Mushroom Duxelles click here for the Recipe.
- Take a serving plate and place the pattie in the middle. With the baking ring you shaped the polenta , gently place it on top of the pattie to shape the Duxelles mixture on the pattie in an even way. Scoop 2 or 3 TBSP of Duxelles on the pattie and press gently while holding the ring.
- Serve with the toppings you like see options below.
2. Creamy Polenta
- For the creamy Polenta version, you don't have to cool the mixture, if you want serve it right away. However you can do it as a prep before serving and if you have other dishes to cook or you want to serve much later in the next few days.
- Pour the coconut cream or vegan heavy cream in a casserole and add your cooled polenta and bring to a quick boil on the stove 2-3 minuets while whisking. Check for seasoning and choose a serving plate.
Sauteed mushrooms for the creamy polenta
- Heat oil in a pan and sauté all the mushrooms and shallots. Add fresh thyme salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the white wine and white wine vinegar and give it a stir. let those liquids reduce completely.
- Remove the stove add the finely chopped parsley and mix. When your creamy Polenta is ready and served in the plate, add the delicious mushroom mix on top.
- Garnish with dots of Balsamic Vinegar, sprinkle some toasted almonds, add micro leaves and garlic confit. You are in for lots of flavors and textures in one plate and one bite! easy home made.