Fresh Fall Flavors

Creamy Mascarpone Polenta with Crispy Wild Mushrooms and Tangy Herb Salad

There is a reason why polenta with mushrooms is a classic dish in northern Italy, it’s incredibly satisfying during the cooler months by the mountains. The richness of the creamy polenta brightened by the sherry vinegar and the crispy mushrooms provide a welcomed, earthiness and texture to the dish. It’s the perfect thing to make when you want to be comforted as we transition seasons here in Minnesota.


● 2C heavy whipping cream

● 2Tbsp butter, unsalted

● 4oz mascarpone cheese

● ½ C Parmesan cheese, grated

● 1C polenta (grits)

● 1 ½ Tsp salt

● 1Tsp black pepper

● 2Tbsp garlic, minced

● 3Tbsp sherry vinegar (sub red wine vinegar if you can’t find this, NOT the sherry cooking wine)

● 3Tbsp olive oil

● 1 small shallot, sliced

● 1C Italian parsley, roughly chopped

● 10oz fresh wild mushrooms (oyster, lion’s mane, shimeji) whatever you like!

● 8oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced

● 1 small shallot, sliced


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

2. Prepare salad dressing by whisking together garlic, salt, pepper, sherry vinegar, and 3 tbsp of olive oil.

3. Prep the mushrooms by removing any dirt with a damp cloth and tearing them gently into medium-sized pieces. Reserve 1 tbsp of the dressing for the herb salad and toss the mushrooms in the remaining dressing. Place the marinated mushrooms on a baking sheet and put into the oven. Roast for 20 minutes, the mushrooms will have given off some liquid at this point. Mix them about and put them under the broiler for 10 minutes. Take them out and toss them again. Put them back under the broiler for another 5-10 minutes. This process will eventually get the mushrooms to soak up the liquid and get crispy. The pan will dry and the mushrooms will have turned a beautiful golden color and gone crispy

4. Over medium-high heat in a wide, deep, braising pan combine heavy cream with 2C water, and 1 tsp of salt. Bring to a simmer and whisk in polenta. You will want to continuously whisk until the mixture is thick and creamy. After about 10 minutes of cooking, whisk in butter, mascarpone, Parmesan, and ½ Tsp black pepper. You can

adjust the consistency with more water or more polenta. Keep warm until you are ready to serve, it thickens as it cools.

5. Toss together 1tbsp of salad dressing with parsley and shallot.

6. To plate, top crispy mushrooms on top of the creamy polenta, and garnish the dish with the herb salad.

Follow @GennaMarks for more delicious recipes!

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