All posts in “mushrooms”

Spring Vegetable Ragout with Goat Cheese Polenta

Spring Vegetable Ragout with Goat Cheese Polenta, Rosemary and Smoked Sea Salt

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!




Spring Vegetable Ragout over Polenta with Goat Cheese, Smoked Sea Salt and Rosemary
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Polenta with Goat Cheese, Rosemary and Smoked Sea Salt Recipe Type : Entree Author: Maria Baldwin Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 20 mins Total time: 25 mins Serves: 4-6 servings
Serves: 2
  • 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
  1. 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
  2. Prepare recipe "mise en place" by assembling the vegetables, slicing them, and gathering the other ingredients together.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in the medium saute pan over medium to low heat on the burner.
  4. Saute shallot until tender and beginning to turn translucent.
  5. 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.
  6. Add ½ cup red wine to the pan and stir to deglaze and loosen bits from the surface for flavor.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Ciao!
This is a quantity for 2 generous portions. Double the recipe if need be.

RECIPE: Pizza with caramelized onions, sausage and garlic sautéed kale

This pizza can be made with or without the sausage and it will taste great. We are using goat, parmesan and asiago cheese or any combination you like. This is a white pizza, no tomato sauce this time. We’ll wait for the summer abundance of tomatoes and then make a fresh sauce for our pizza.


  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch Red Russian Kale, washed stem and spine removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sausage links
  • ½ log or more Goat Cheese
  • Freshly grated parmesan
  • Freshly grated pecorino or asiago


  1. Preheat oven to 475. Place rack in middle of oven.
  2. Place thawed dough in a bowl coated with olive oil in a warm spot in the kitchen while you work with the toppings. Cover with a dish towel.
  3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add kale and cook for 3 – 5 minutes. Drain well. When cool enough to work with, squeeze excess water from leaves, place on cutting board and cut into bite size pieces.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic in heavy large skillet over medium high heat. 1 – 2 minutes. Add kale and toss to coat well, toss and turn for 2 – 3 minutes, remove from pan. Set aside.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add onions and saute until tender about 5 minutes. Add a ¼ tsp salt, lower heat and sauté until onions are golden, about 30 minutes longer. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  6. Pierce sausages with fork in several places. Add sausages to skillet and cook over medium high heat until sausages are well browned on all sides. (You don’t have to add any cooking oil. The sausages will cook in their own fat.) Cut sausages into ½ in rounds and cut each round in half if desired.
  7. Grease cookie sheet with olive oil using a pastry brush or a paper towel. Punch down dough and roll out on lightly floured service into a rectangular shape – about 13 by 8 inches.
  8. Place dough on cookie sheet and place in hot oven for just a few minutes to have it set. Remove from oven (be careful the cookie sheet will heat up very quickly)
  9. Place on flat surface with kitchen towel or oven mit underneath so as not to burn service.
  10. I like to place ingredients on pizza dough in rows, starting with the greens, then the onions and then the sausage semicircles. Leave a ½ inch space and then do the next set of rows until you have completely covered the dough. (You may leave a small ¾ inch border) Drop small dollops (rounded teaspoonful) of goat cheese every 1 ½ -2 inches. Sprinkle with the parmesan and asiago or pecorino, which ever you are using.
  11. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the dressed pizza.
  12. Place in oven and cook for 12 – 14 minutes, checking from time to time. You might want to leave it in a bit longer to get the crust to the desired crispness.


– Cut pizza crosswise into rectangles.
– Of course you may add other ingredients if you like: olives, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes are just a few I like to use.

Buon Appetito!

RECIPE: Spring Braising Greens Frittata

Spring Braising Greens Frittata

Serves 2-3 (increase quantities of ingredients incrementally for more servings).

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Mix in a bowl :
    – 3 or 4 large Farm Fresh Eggs
    – ½ c. fresh milk
    – Dash of nutmeg
    – Pinch of salt and white pepper (if you have it)
  • Wash and chop about 4 ounces braising greens (about 6 leaves) in large 1 inch pieces (removing stems).
  • If you still have green garlic, you can use it here. If not, spring onions are perfect also. Slice thinly and add to braising greens.
  • In a non-stick skillet, lightly saute the greens and onions together until just beginning to wilt. If you want to, add about ¼ cup chopped sun dried tomato, sliced fresh mushrooms or artichoke hearts at this point.
  • Add egg custard to the pan, and stir to coat the bottom of the pan. As soon as the custard begins to set, place in the oven to finish for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and dust lightly with freshly cracked sea salt and pepper and fresh parmesan or asiago cheese.