Monday, May 17, 2010

Polenta with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms & Wood Sorrel

Wood sorrel is something that grows wild around my house.  I never realized it was edible until recently. It’s wonderful lemony flavor is perfect for topping a salad.  I was trying to come up with another dish that it would compliment and mushrooms came to mind.  I caramelized an onion and some mushrooms, mixed them with some edamame and put the whole thing over a scoop of polenta.
A combination of mushrooms is nice, so I threw in a some shiitakes.   They’re expensive, so I just used a few.  I wanted to use a box of these beautiful mixed exotic mushrooms but they were $9.00, just a little to expensive for me right now.  Next time, I might cook the shiitakes separately and add them to the top of the pile, as a garnish.  I think they got kind of lost in the mix.  You can use any kind of mushrooms that are available in your area of the world.  

I added some edamame (young green soybeans) because, as someone who doesn’t eat meat, I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more protein into my meals.  A half cup of these beans has 12 grams of protein!!  They have lots of fiber and omega fatty acids as well.  Just make sure that you’re buying organic because most soybeans, if they’re are not organic, are probably genetically modified (GMO).  You can buy them fresh in their shells but I find it easier to buy the ones already shelled, that have been frozen.  They’re one of those staples that I keep on hand in my freezer.  They’re wonderful on salads, in soups or just as they are.  They’re an excellent snack for kids.

I topped the dish with some wood sorrel.  I liked the combination of mushrooms and sorrel.  They seemed to go together well.  I love the fact that it’s free, growing wild in my yard. You can, obviously, make this dish without the sorrel.  If you don’t have sorrel where you live or it’s the wrong season for it, you could top this dish with some fresh chopped parsley, or oregano.

Polenta with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms 

Makes 2 dinner size servings - Use organic ingredients whenever possible
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup polenta
2 tablespoons Tofutti non-dairy cream cheese (or sub the dairy one)
1 tablespoon Earth Balance Organic Buttery Spread (or sub butter)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Earth Balance butter substitute
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion
20 mushrooms, any kind
1 cup shelled edamame beans
A splash of white wine (optional)
Fresh herbs of your choice to garnish
Bring water to a boil in heavy pot.
Slowly pour the polenta into boiling water as you whisk it.
Turn heat to low and simmer until polenta is thick, about 15 minutes.
Turn off heat and stir in cream cheese and buttery spread.
Stir in the salt.
Cut the onion in half, peel it and slice.
Wash the mushrooms, trim the stems and slice each into 4 pieces
In a large frying pan, melt the Earth Balance and add the oil.
Over a medium high heat, cook the onions for 10 minutes, stirring often 
(adjust the heat, if necessary, you want them to brown but not burn)
Add the mushrooms and cook for at least another 10 minutes, stirring until everything is well browned.
Add a splash of white wine to deglaze the pan (you could sub with a splash of broth but wine is so much better!)
Add the edamame and cook for a few minutes to heat the edamame and cook off the wine.
Scoop the polenta onto two plates and top with the onion/mushroom/edamame mixture.
Garnish with the fresh chopped herb of your choice.
Serve immediately.

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