Well hello mushroom. Would you like to come with me? I think you would love to play with my other friends like asparagus and carrots. And silky polenta. You know them, they are my springtime friends. You will get along very well with them.
Morel season is just beginning in the mid south. Somewhere near the majestic oak, strewn in along in the small depressions where moisture collects, maybe on a north-facing slope. I try to explain why I find them where I find them. I don’t think I can. They are a mystery. They are an amazing gift of springtime.
This recipe comes in anticipation of finding the beautiful morels around where I live in mid-appalachia in April. I decided it would be perfect with the meaty portabello, too. With either, this mushroom dish holds the celebration of spring vegetables together with strength and substance, and they all have a chance to shine.
There’s a video for some visual fun. I hope you enjoy!
- 1 cup medium to coarse ground cornmeal
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 oz goat cheese
- ½ tsp. smoked salt
- 1 tsp. fresh rosemary or ¼ tsp dried rosemary
- 1 portabello mushroom
- 1 carrot
- 1 large-ish shallot
- ½ lb. asparagus
- ½ c. sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water for about 10 minutes.
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 1½ cups vegetable demi-glace (recipe from ChefSteps - or - Better Than Boullion Sauce
- ½ cup red wine
- Cook the polenta by adding 1 cup polenta to 4 cups of simmering salted vegetable stock, stirring as you add the polenta. Continue to stir until it becomes somewhat thick. Add the goat cheese, sea salt and rosemary for a fabulous thick and silky polenta. Set aside to keep warm an
- Prepare recipe "mise en place" by assembling the vegetables, slicing them, and gathering the other ingredients together.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in the medium saute pan over medium to low heat on the burner.
- Saute shallot until tender and beginning to turn translucent.
- Add the other vegetables to the pan, beginning with the carrots, then the mushroom and then the sun-dried tomato and asparagus. Saute for about 5 minutes, or just until tender, then remove vegetables from the pan.
- Add ½ cup red wine to the pan and stir to deglaze and loosen bits from the surface for flavor.
- Add the brown vegetable demi-glace. Stir in a slurry of 2 tsp cornstarch with ¼ cup of water to the sauce. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes to start to thicken. When the sauce has become silky and slightly thickened, and the remaining sundried tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes more.
- Add vegetables back to the pan and bring to a simmer for just a few minutes. Serve the silky mushroom and spring vegetable ragout over the goat cheese polenta.