Black Olive Polenta with Shiitakes, Garlic and Rosemary



4 servings



1 cup quick-cooking polenta or
corn meal
1 cup tapenade (black olive paste)
1 tsp. salt
4 fl. oz. virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic
2 lbs. shiitake mushrooms, hard part of stem removed and cut in half
3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
8 fl. oz. dry white wine
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Bring 2-1/2 cups water to boil. Add polenta in thin stream, stirring constantly. When polenta is all in, lower heat to simmer. Add tapenade and salt and cook 5 to 7 minutes until very thick, or the consistency of thick oatmeal.

Pour the polenta out into a clean but not greased 8- by 12-inch brownie pan, smoothing over the top with the back of a spoon to create even thickness. Set aside to cool 1/2 hour. When cool, cut into 8 wedges.

Preheat broiler. In a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan, heat 4 oz. olive oil over moderate heat. Add garlic and sauté until just lightly browned. Add shiitakes and, stirring quickly to move the garlic off the pan bottom, sauté 3 to 4 minutes until lightly browned. Add wine and rosemary and reduce by one half. The mixture should be loose but not thin like a sauce. Set aside off heat.

Place polenta under broiler and cook until hot but not darkened, or approximately 3 minutes per side. Bring shiitake mixture up to a boil over moderate heat. As an entree, place two wedges on each of four plates and divide shiitakes, spooning over top. Serve immediately.

Author's Comments

This recipe yields 4 entree or 8 appetizer servings.

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