You’ll have to forgive me: I’m veering away from the breakfast for dinner theme just a teensy bit. Instead we’re having breakfast as an appetizer. If you consider polenta cakes to be a breakfast item. Which I do. Kind of. Polenta isn’t that different from grits, right? (Right, according to this post on The Kitchn.)
Anyways, polenta cakes for dinner appetizers! When I told the people at Frieda’s that I couldn’t decide if I liked polenta or not (I just wasn’t sure how I felt about the texture – I’ve had both really good polenta and really terrible polenta at various restaurants), they were kind enough to send me a few rolls of their organic polenta to try cooking it for myself.
I typically prefer my polenta/grits on the crispier end, so I decided to play around with some polenta cakes – they are crisp on the outside, and soft on the inside. That’s perfect for me! I topped them with some caramelized onions (always a favorite) and sautéed mushrooms, and drizzled them with a little truffle oil, making for a fantastic vegan appetizer. Delicious.
These polenta cakes are crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, and topped with caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 roll precooked polenta (I used Frieda's brand)
- 1/2 cup caramelized onions (I use this method)
- White truffle oil, for drizzling
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper, stirring so that the mushrooms are completely coated by the oil. Cook, flipping once or twice, for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the water to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water is entirely gone from the pan. This should take 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- While the mushrooms cook, slice the polenta into 1/4" thick rounds. Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat, but don't add any oil or nonstick spray. If you do, the polenta won't brown!
- Add a few polenta rounds to the pan, being sure not to crowd them too much. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until they begin to brown.
- Top each polenta round with a teaspoon or so of caramelized onions and a few sauteed mushrooms. Drizzle with the truffle oil and serve immediately.
Psst: Frieda’s sent me some polenta to try, but I was not compensated in any other way for this post. All opinions are my own.